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June 2014 Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI)

Press Release Number: 
BTS 37-14
Date: 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

PDF | Excel

Five Years: Freight Transportation Services Index, June 2009 - June 2014

Table Version | Excel

Five Years: Freight Transportation Services Index, June 2009 - June 2014

Source for Recession Dates: National Bureau of Economic Research, US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions

The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, declined 0.9 percent in June from May, falling after four consecutive monthly increases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The June 2014 index level (119.1) was 25.9 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession (Tables 1, 2, and 2A).

The level of freight shipments in June measured by the Freight TSI (119.1) was 0.9 percent below the revised all-time high level of 120.2 in May 2014 (Table 2A). BTS’ TSI records begin in 2000. See historical TSI data.

The May index, the all-time high, was revised to 120.2 from 120.0 in last month’s release.  Monthly numbers for January and March were revised down slightly.  There was a larger downward revision for September 2013, 118.1 in last month’s release to 116.8.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

Analysis: The index for each freight mode declined in June with the largest decline in pipelines. The declines took place when construction spending, which often is a driver of transportation shipments, declined in June after several months of increases. Construction spending declined although there was growth in several other economic indicators. Despite the decrease, the freight index was higher in each month of the second quarter of 2014 than it was in any month of the first quarter of 2014 when weather impacted transportation.

Trend: June was the third consecutive month in which the index reached the levels that had been attained prior to the weather-related downturn in the early part of the year, even though the June index was below the level reached in the previous two months.  The index reached its all-time high level (120.2) in May 2014.  After dipping to 94.6 in April 2009, the index rose by 25.9 percent in the succeeding 62 months. For additional historical data, go to TSI data.

Index highs and lows: Freight shipments in June 2014 (119.1) were 25.9 percent higher than the recent low in April 2009 during the recession (94.6). The June 2014 level is down 0.9 percent from the historic peak reached in May 2014 (120.2).

Year to date: Freight shipments measured by the index were virtually unchanged in June compared to the end of 2013 (Table 3)

Long-term trend: Freight shipments are up 24.1 percent in the five years from the post-recession level of June 2009 and are up 7.5 percent in the 10 years from June 2004 (Table 5). 

Same month of previous year: June 2014 freight shipments were up 2.8 percent from June 2013 (Tables 4, 5).

2nd quarter changes: The Freight TSI rose 0.2 percent in the April to June period after falling 0.2 percent in the first quarter (Table 10).  

The TSI has three seasonally adjusted indexes that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. The three indexes are freight shipments, passenger travel and a combined measure that merges the freight and passenger indexes. TSI includes data from 2000 to the present. Release of the July 2014 index is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Passenger Index: The TSI for passengers was virtually unchanged in June from its May level (Table 6).  The Passenger TSI June 2014 level of 119.6 was 1.7 percent above the June 2013 level (Table 7). The index is up 10.1 percent in five years and up 14.7 percent in 10 years (Table 5).  The passenger TSI measures the month-to-month changes in travel that involves the services of the for-hire passenger transportation sector. The seasonally adjusted index consists of data from air, local transit and intercity rail.

Combined Index: The combined freight and passenger TSI fell 0.6 percent in June from its May level (Table 8). The combined TSI June 2014 level of 119.3 was 2.5 percent above the June 2013 level (Table 9). The combined index is up 19.7 percent in five years and up 9.4 percent in 10 years (Table 5). The combined TSI merges the freight and passenger indexes into a single index.

Revisions: Monthly data has changed from previous releases due to the use of concurrent seasonal analysis, which results in seasonal analysis factors changing as each months data are added.    

For a webinar on the TSI, see Past Webinars.  For a video explanation of the TSI, see Overview of the Transportation Services Index.  A BTS report explaining the TSI, Transportation Services Index and the Economy, is available for download.

 

Table 1: Freight, Passenger and Combined Transportation Services Indexes Since December 2013

Percent Change from Previous Month

(Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

  Freight Passenger Combined
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
December 119.1 -0.3 118.0 -0.1 118.9 -0.2
January 115.9 -2.7 116.8 -1.0 116.3 -2.2
February 117.0 0.9 116.8 0.0 117.0 0.6
March 118.8 1.6 119.1 2.0 119.0 1.7
April 119.3 0.4 119.1 0.0 119.3 0.3
May 120.2 0.8 119.6 0.4 120.1 0.7
June 119.1 -0.9 119.6 0.0 119.3 -0.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 2: Freight Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2011-2014

Percent change from previous month

  2011 % Change 2012 % Change 2013 % Change 2014 % Change
January 1.2 -3.4 0.6 -2.7
February -1.1 0.2 0.8 0.9
March 1.1 -0.9 0.3 1.6
April -0.1 0.5 -0.8 0.4
May -1.7 0.8 1.0 0.8
June 1.5 0.8 0.4 -0.9
July 0.0 -0.3 0.1  
August 0.6 -0.6 0.5  
September 0.6 0.0 0.2  
October 0.3 -1.9 -0.2  
November 0.1 1.6 2.5  
December 3.6 1.2 -0.3  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 2A: Freight Transportation Services Index by Month, 2011-2014

  2011 2012 2013 2014
January 110.4 111.8 113.9 115.9
February 109.2 111.9 114.8 117.0
March 110.3 111.0 115.2 118.8
April 110.2 111.5 114.2 119.3
May 108.3 112.5 115.4 120.2
June 110.0 113.3 115.8 119.1
July 110.0 113.0 116.0  
August 110.6 112.3 116.5  
September 111.3 112.3 116.8  
October 111.6 110.1 116.5  
November 111.7 111.9 119.4  
December 115.7 113.3 119.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 3: Freight, Passenger and Combined Transportation Services Indexes Year-to-Date Change, 2005-2014

Percent change to June from December of the previous year

Year Freight Passenger Combined
2005 0.4 2.0 0.9
2006 0.6 2.0 1.0
2007 -0.9 2.7 0.2
2008 -0.9 0.1 -0.6
2009 -4.3 -1.7 -3.5
2010 4.5 1.3 3.5
2011 0.8 0.8 0.8
2012 -2.1 -0.6 -1.6
2013 2.3 1.2 1.9
2014 0.0 1.3 0.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 4: Freight Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year

Percent change in the June Freight TSI

(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

  June Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
2005 111.6 0.8
2006 112.9 1.1
2007 109.7 -2.8
2008 109.8 0.1
2009 95.9 -12.6
2010 106.2 10.7
2011 110.0 3.5
2012 113.3 3.0
2013 115.8 2.2
2014 119.1 2.8

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 5: Transportation Services Indexes from Previous Years

Percent Change to 2014 (June to June)

Since June . . . Duration in years Freight TSI Percent change to June 2014 Passenger TSI Percent change to June 2014 Combined TSI Percent change to June 2014
2013 1 2.8 1.7 2.5
2012 2 5.1 3.8 4.7
2011 3 8.3 4.6 7.2
2010 4 12.1 6.9 10.5
2009 5 24.1 10.1 19.7
2008 6 8.4 2.7 6.6
2007 7 8.5 2.5 6.5
2006 8 5.5 7.8 6.0
2005 9 6.7 10.0 7.4
2004 10 7.5 14.7 9.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 6: Passenger Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2011-2014

Percent change from previous month

  2011 % Change 2012 % Change 2013 % Change 2014 % Change
January -0.2 -0.8 0.0 -1.0
February -1.2 1.8 0.1 0.0
March 1.5 -0.9 -0.5 2.0
April 0.2 -0.3 1.1 0.0
May 1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.4
June -0.5 0.1 0.5 0.0
July 0.9 -0.2 -0.7  
August -2.8 0.9 0.8  
September 2.8 -0.2 -0.3  
October 0.2 -1.6 0.7  
November -0.3 1.4 0.0  
December 0.6 0.7 -0.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 7: Passenger Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year

Percent change in the June Passenger TSI

(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

  June Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
2005 108.8 4.4
2006 111.0 2.0
2007 116.7 5.2
2008 116.4 -0.3
2009 108.6 -6.7
2010 111.9 3.1
2011 114.3 2.1
2012 115.1 0.8
2013 117.6 2.1
2014 119.6 1.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 8: Combined Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2011-2014

Percent change from previous month

  2011 % Change 2012 % Change 2013 % Change 2014 % Change
January 0.7 -2.6 0.4 -2.2
February -1.1 0.7 0.6 0.6
March 1.2 -0.9 0.0 1.7
April 0.0 0.3 -0.2 0.3
May -0.9 0.4 0.7 0.7
June 0.9 0.6 0.4 -0.6
July 0.3 -0.3 -0.1  
August -0.5 -0.1 0.6  
September 1.2 -0.1 0.1  
October 0.3 -1.8 0.0  
November 0.0 1.5 1.8  
December 2.7 1.0 -0.2  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 9: Combined Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year

Percent change in the June Combined TSI

(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

  June Combined TSI Percent change from same month previous year
2005 111.0 1.8
2006 112.6 1.4
2007 112.0 -0.5
2008 112.0 0.0
2009 99.7 -10.9
2010 108.0 8.3
2011 111.3 3.1
2012 113.9 2.3
2013 116.4 2.2
2014 119.3 2.5

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 10: Freight Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 2005-2014

Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
2005 0.9 -0.5 -0.2 0.7
2006 -0.2 0.9 0.1 -2.0
2007 1.1 -1.9 -0.2 1.2
2008 -0.8 -0.2 -2.4 -6.4
2009 -4.4 0.1 3.5 2.4
2010 3.6 0.9 0.7 1.9
2011 1.1 -0.3 1.2 4.0
2012 -4.1 2.1 -0.9 0.9
2013 1.7 0.6 0.8 2.0
2014 -0.2 0.2    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 11: Passenger Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 2005-2014

Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
2005 1.2 0.8 1.5 -1.5
2006 2.1 -0.1 -0.2 2.6
2007 2.6 0.1 0.7 -1.0
2008 0.2 -0.1 -3.7 -1.5
2009 -1.7 0.0 0.9 0.8
2010 0.2 1.0 1.3 0.0
2011 0.1 0.7 0.8 0.5
2012 0.0 -0.6 0.5 0.5
2013 -0.4 1.6 -0.3 0.6
2014 0.9 0.4    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Table 12: Combined Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 2005-2014

Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
2005 1.0 -0.1 0.3 0.1
2006 0.4 0.6 0.0 -0.7
2007 1.5 -1.3 0.1 0.5
2008 -0.5 -0.2 -2.8 -5.0
2009 -3.6 0.1 2.7 1.9
2010 2.5 1.0 0.9 1.3
2011 0.8 0.0 1.1 2.9
2012 -2.9 1.3 -0.5 0.7
2013 1.0 0.9 0.5 1.6
2014 0.1 0.3    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Brief Explanation of the TSI

The Transportation Services Index (TSI) is a measure of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries. The freight index measure changes in freight shipments while the passenger index measures changes in passenger travel.

The TSI tells us how the output of transportation services has increased or decreased from month to month. The index can be examined together with other economic indicators to produce a better understanding of the current and future course of the economy. The movement of the index over time can be compared with other economic measures to understand the relationship of changes in transportation output to changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The freight transportation index consists of:
For-hire trucking,
Railroad freight services (including rail based intermodal shipments such as containers on flat cars),
Inland waterways transportation,
Pipeline transportation (including principally petroleum and petroleum products and natural gas), and
Air freight.

The index does not include international or coastal waterborne movements, private trucking, courier services, or the US Postal Service.

The passenger transportation index consists of:
Local transit,
Intercity passenger rail, and
Passenger air transportation.

The index does not include intercity bus, sightseeing services, ferry services, taxi service, private automobile usage, or bicycling and other non-motorized transportation.