ECONOMIC WATCH: Freight index falls most since recession

by Today's Trucking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which shows the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, fell 7.7% in April from March amid an economic slowdown due to Covid-19.

It was the third consecutive monthly drop, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) said Wednesday.

The April decrease was also the largest monthly drop since a 5.0% decline in March 2009, BTS said.

Graphic: BTS

“From April 2019 to April 2020, the index fell 10.0% compared to a rise of 2.7% from April 2018 to April 2019, and a rise of 8.0% from April 2017 to April 2018,” it said.

Graphic: BTS

The index consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

No separate figure for the trucking industry was released.

In an analysis of the data, BTS said there were declines in all freight modes except pipeline.

It attributed the declines to weakness in manufacturing and construction.

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