Transportation Price Index (TPI) Suggests Slower Summer Surge; Increasing Diesel Costs Continue to Outpace Rise in Transportation Prices

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The modest increase in transportation prices this May is surprising, considering prices are expected to spike in summer months. This time last year, substantial increases in transportation prices correlated with rising fuel prices. This year, the same rise in fuel prices has not been proportionally reflected in the TPI. The May 2008 Transportation Price Index (TPI) increased 2.9% from April 2008. The TPI is down over 12% from its May 2007 level.

Austin-based uShip has released May 2008 figures from the Transportation Price Index (TPI) which rose overall to $2.15, an increase of 2.9% from April 2008. The TPI is down over 12% from its May 2007 level of $2.45. The TPI was designed by uShip to track important data related to transportations costs which is released on a monthly basis. The innovative tool uses proprietary, transactional information from the uShip marketplace to provide aggregate and categorical pricing figures expressed in US dollars per ton-mile.

In contrast to the relatively small rise in transportation costs, the average price of a gallon of diesel rose $0.51, or 12.1%, which is the largest monthly increase on record. Compared with last May, diesel prices are up $1.88 or 66.2%. This month's rise marked the seventh monthly increase in the last nine months.

According to uShip CEO Matt Chasen, "The modest increase in transportation prices this May is especially surprising, considering the summer months typically show significant spikes in prices. This same time last year, we saw substantial increases in transportation prices that correlated with rising fuel prices. This year, the same rise in fuel prices has not been proportionally reflected in the TPI." Chasen goes on to explain that the most significant of the May figures is the unexpectedly minor increase in the price of moving household goods. "The high demand of the summer moving season drives up the cost of moving household goods, and this surge is usually readily apparent in the uShip marketplace. This is when we would usually expect to see a substantial jump in that category."

This jump has not been so apparent this year, though. The May 2008 TPI for household goods showed an increase of only 5.5% from the previous month. This is a far reach from the spike of more than 27% over the same time period in 2008. The slight increase is also surprising considering the steep rise in the price of diesel, a key component in determining moving prices.

Of the other key categories monitored by uShip in its TPI calculations, freight showed a rise of just over 18%, rebounding from a recent dip to the highest price levels since the inception of the index. Vehicles and motorcycles checked in with increases of 6.5% and 9.9%, respectively, while the cost of boat transportation fell 2.9% to $0.67.

For more information about the TPI and a deeper look at its methodology, please visit To request an interview with Mr. Chasen, please contact Jennifer Hill Robenalt at 512.382.0303 or 512.653.9656. You may also e-mail her at ushippress(at) High resolution images are available upon request.

About uShip
Founded in 2003, uShip is the first and largest online marketplace for shipping services. Members list anything they need shipped, from household goods to vehicles to freight, and receive bids from thousands of feedback-rated service providers, including movers, carriers, transporters, van lines, freight brokers and independent service providers. On any given day, there are thousands of shipments listed on uShip representing millions of dollars of business. It's totally free for members to list shipments and for service providers to place bids. uShip's reverse-auction format and patent-pending search technology dramatically reduce shipping costs by allowing service providers to find shipments along their routes and fill empty cargo space. uShip's feedback system holds service providers accountable for their service and rewards those that perform well. Please visit for more information.


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