DOT releases February Transportation Services Index

The Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics released the Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) for February on Wednesday.

Freight transported fell by 1.7 percent following a minor spike in January activity. The level of shipments made by the for-hire transportation industry was 2.4 percent below the all-time TSI high from November 2014 which was at 123.3. In February it was 120.4.

The decreasing trend shows the TSI is at its lowest point since June 2014. The all-time lowest point was 94.6 in April 2009, during the nation's most recent recession.

The for-hire transportation industry consists of trucking companies, railway freight services, airline freight transit, pipelines and inland waterways. It does not include international or coastal forms of freight transit nor courier services such as UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

From the February 2014 data, shipments saw an increase of 2.5 percent in February as opposed to that month last year. The bureau states that decreases in rail car loads were a large factor in the declining numbers, and that other factors included smaller declines in trucking and waterway loads. For the long term, the report indicates that shipment is up 14.5 percent in the past five years.