Move It! US For-Hire Freight Index At Second Highest Level
WASHINGTON, DC — The amount of freight carried by U.S. for-hire fleets fell one percent in December from November, but is still pushing all-time highs like those seen in November 2013, according to new U.S. Department of Transportation figures.
December’s levels were 116.5, slightly lower than November’s historic peak 117.7 figure, but higher by 23 percent than the April 2009 low of 94.7 during the most recent recession. That means that compared to the monthly average of the year 2000 (considered 100), when record keeping began, December’s levels were 16.5 higher.
When stacked up against December 2012, for-hire trucks carried 4.4 percent more freight in December 2013, making it the fourth year in the last five in which the index was higher in December than in the previous year. The only decline was in 2012.
In fact, freight shipments are up 16.2 percent in the five years from the recession level of December 2008 and are up 7.8 percent in the 10 years from December 2003.
The index measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. It also measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.
The decline in December from November resulted from slight declines across all modes.