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DOT: Freight Activity Up Slightly In April

Freight transportation services index measured 109.4 in April, about 0.1 percent higher than the same month last year, according to government data released Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freight activity edged marginally higher in April and a passenger index also rose, according to government data released Wednesday.

The Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said its freight transportation services index, which measures changes in the output of services by the railroad, air freight and trucking industries, was 109.4 in April, about 0.1 percent higher than the same month last year.

The index was down 3.3 percent from its peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.

Canadian National Railway Co., Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and CSX Corp. are among the largest railroad operators. Trucking companies include Con-Way Inc., Marten Transport Ltd., YRC Worldwide Inc. and Knight Transportation Inc. Air freight providers included FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.

The passenger transportation index, which measures local transit, air travel and intercity railroads, gained 1.3 percent to 116.2 in April from a year earlier. That index, unchanged from its March level, started at 70.5 in 1990 and peaked at nearly 118.2 last October.

The government's combined freight and passenger transportation services index in April was 110.7, a 0.3 percent gain compared with the same month last year, but also was unchanged from March. It started at 67.1 in 1990 and peaked at 112.6 in May 2006.

The April government data are preliminary and scheduled to be revised in four months.

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