The freight index is 36.4% higher than the April 2009 low during the recession. (File photo)

DOT freight index reaches all-time high

The Department of Transportation (DOT) said its freight transportation services index reached an all-time high in October.

The reading of 129.2 was up 0.6% from September and 36.4% above the April 2009 low during the recession, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The index is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry.

The October reading was 0.2% above the previous high reached in August of 129. The freight index measures the month-to-month changes in for-hire freight shipments, and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines, and air freight.

The report said significant increases in trucking, rail carloads, rail intermodal, and water led the October increase, while air freight declined and pipeline was stable.

In a separate report, FTR said its trucking conditions index for October was 9.48, well above the prior month's reading of 3.5. FTR said a strong economy, combined with pressure from hurricane recovery and the electronic logging mandate, was creating a very tight market resulting in improved contract rates.  

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