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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight services index reached record level in May


The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) reached an all-time high in May at 126.8, besting the previous record of 126.0 set in February 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The index — which is based on the amount of freight carried by for-hire transportation entities — rose 2.2 percent from April's mark, posting a gain after two straight monthly declines. The Freight TSI also registered its largest month-over-month gain since it rose 2.9 percent from November to December 2011, BTS officials said in a press release.

"The May increase was broad-based, with gains in most modes, especially water and pipeline, while air freight and trucking were stable," BTS officials said. "The increase took place despite mixed performance in other indicators in May."

On a year-over-year basis, the Freight TSI increased 1.8 percent in May compared with the same 2016 period.

The Passenger TSI — which is based on month-to-month changes in travel provided by air, local transit and intercity rail services — dipped 0.2 percent in May compared with the previous month. However, the index of 126.7 increased 1.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

May's combined TSI of 126.7 ratcheted up 1.4 percent from April's level and 3.3 percent from May 2016's mark.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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