Friday, November 13, 2009

US Reports Drop In Road Rail Barge And Air Freight Transport For Month

FTSI Figures Fall Against Both Previous September and Last Year
Shipping News Feature

US – Just as heads had started to rise in the industry after seeing a month by month increase in the Bureau of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Services Index since June, the figures show a decline of around half a percent against August and a drop of almost 10% against 2008 when the September numbers were released yesterday. The index is an amalgamation of tonnage from road, rail, inland barge and domestic air freight and also pipeline tonnage, and combined with distance carried gives a figure showing the ratio made up from one tonne to each mile travelled.

Despite the lies, damned lies and statistics school of thought ,the figures carry real weight, having been prepared on a like for like basis for over twenty years. In May this year the index fell to its twelve year lowest point and has risen from there by only 2.3%. Observers had begun to sense a growing confidence in the market after the month on month falls against previous years it had risen slowly but steadily in the June – August period.

One should however not be entirely pessimistic, the FTSI relies quite heavily on the pipeline sector and in times of austerity and at a period where all sectors of society are attempting to cut back on fuel use, these numbers are bound to drop and may well account for this months half percent fall alone. Everyone is also looking to local supplies to reduce transport miles and this may also be having an effect.