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December 12, 2012 4:30 PM, EST

DOT Freight Transportation Index Slips 1.8%

Bruce Andrew Peters for TT

The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index declined 1.8% in October from the same month last year, DOT said.

The freight TSI also declined month-to-month from September, falling 1.9% to a reading of 107.1, DOT said. The index uses a baseline 100 reading from the year 2000.

The index declined “at least in part as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which depressed both truck and freight rail traffic,” DOT said in its monthly report released Wednesday. “Both rail freight and trucking showed significant declines.”

Since peaking last December at a reading of 114 — the highest level in its 22-year history — the index remained in a narrow band through the first nine months of the year before falling in October to its lowest level since May 2011.

The freight TSI is a seasonally adjusted monthly index measuring the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, inland waterways, pipeline and local transit.