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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight index set another record in October, BTS says


In October, the Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) reached an all-time high of 129.2, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The previous record index of 129.0 was set in August.

The Freight TSI inched up 0.6 from September’s level and climbed 5.3 percent from October 2016’s mark. The index measures month-to-month changes in shipments moved by rail, truck, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

"Significant increases in trucking, rail carloads, rail intermodal and water led the October increase … while air freight declined and pipeline was stable," BTS officials said in a press release.

October marked the index’s third all-time high in a four-month period and fourth record in six months. From August to November, the Freight TSI achieved its four highest levels ever attained, BTS officials said.

Meanwhile, the Passenger TSI in October fell 4.2 percent from September’s level to 122.3. On a year-over-year basis, the index dropped 1.2 percent. The Passenger TSI measures month-to-month changes in travel via intercity rail, air and local transit modes.

The combined Freight and Passenger TSI of 127.1 in October dipped 0.9 percent from September’s level but rose 3.2 percent from October 2016’s mark.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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