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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Rail intermodal drives up freight index in January


The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.5 percent in January from December 2015's level due to substantial growth in rail intermodal and pipeline shipments, and a smaller increase in trucking, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics announced yesterday.

Air freight, water and rail carloads all decreased in January, bureau officials said in a press release.

Based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, the January index level of 122.2 was 29 percent higher than the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

January marked the second consecutive month in which the index increased. The last time the index increased for two months in a row was in November 2014, when freight shipments reached a historic peak of 123.8, bureau officials said.

The bureau revised the December 2015 index to 121.6 from 121.0 in last month's report.

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 trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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