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April reduction in air freight largest since 2009 recession

THE Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation, fell 7

18 June 2020 - 19:06

THE Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation, fell 7.7 per cent in April from March, falling for the third consecutive month, according to the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS).

From April 2019 to April 2020, the index fell 10 per cent compared to a rise of 2.7 per cent from April 2018 to April 2019 and a rise of 8.0 per cent from April 2017 to April 2018.



The level of for-hire freight shipments in April measured by the Freight TSI (125.1) was 11.4 per cent below the all-time high level of 141.2 in August 2019. BTS' TSI records begin in 2000.



The March index was revised to 135.6 from 136.8 in last month's release. Monthly numbers for January and February remain unchanged.



BTS is withholding the scheduled release of the passenger and combined indexes for April. The passenger index is a statistical estimate of airline passenger travel and other components based on historical trends up to March 2020. As a result, the estimates have yet to fully account for the impact of the coronavirus.



Air freight is also a statistical estimate. Since air freight makes up a smaller part of the freight index, the freight TSI is being released as scheduled. The March passenger and combined indexes are available on the BTS website.



The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in for-hire 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 for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. The TSI is seasonally-adjusted to remove regular seasons from month-to-month comparisons.


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