The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry in the United States declined 1.8% in May from April, falling for the second consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) released today.
Worse, from an economic point of view, freight declined three out of the past four months, and reached the lowest level in since November of 2010. In May 2011 freight shipments were approximately the same as they were in October 2008 after the global markets collapsed.For the first five months of 2011, freight shipments measured by the BTS index were down 1.2% indicating what voters and 14 million unemployed already know, the economy is barely growing if it is growing at all.
The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.