Freight carried nationally fell 0.8 percent in June

The Freight Transportation Services Index dropped 0.8 percent in June from the previous month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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The index measures the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry in tons and ton-miles.

It takes into consideration trucking, railroads, air, waterways and pipelines. It does not include the U.S. Postal Service, private trucking companies and courier services.

Despite the slight decrease, June’s rate is 33.3 percent above the index’s lowest point, April 2009.

June’s decrease is attributed to a drop in waterways and trucking. Air freight, intermodal and rail carloads increased while pipeline was steady.

May’s numbers were revised from 126.8 to 127.2.

“The [index] tells us how the output of transportation services has increased or decreased from month to month,” the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said. “The index can be examined together with other economic indicators to produce a better understanding of the current and future course of the economy. The movement of the index over time can be compared with other economic measures to understand the relationship of changes in transportation output to changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

The index for the second quarter kept pace with GDP growth, which stood at 2.6 percent.