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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BTS: Transportation Services Index down in February


The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) slipped 1.7 percent in February compared with January, falling after a slight rise in January, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The index is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry. The February index level of 120.4 was down 2.4 percent from its all-time high in November 2014, and was lower than at any time since June 2014, according to a BTS press release.

However, freight shipments in February rose 2.5 percent over the February 2014 level.

"A large decline in rail carloads, rail intermodal, coupled with smaller declines in trucking and water resulted in the decline in the overall freight index in February, despite an increase in pipeline," according to the BTS analysis. "Unusual winter weather played a role in much of this decline in transportation-related economic activity."

A labor dispute at West Coast ports also may have affected freight transportation, the analysis stated.

The January 2015 index was revised to 122.6 from 122.9 in last month's press release, BTS officials said. Numbers for September, November and December were revised down.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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