January 11, 2013 8:15 AM, EST
Intermodal Traffic Falls 8% for Week, Due to Holiday
OHC Intermodal

U.S. rail intermodal traffic fell 8% last week over the same week a year ago, due to the New Year’s holiday, the Association of American Railroads said.

The holiday fell on Monday and Tuesday this year, as opposed to Saturday and Sunday last year.

Container traffic fell last week by 5.8% to 158,044 units, and trailer traffic fell 22.4% to 20,273 units, AAR said.

Railroad carloads — excluding intermodal — fell 12.1% to 241,682 units for the week, AAR said in its weekly report.

Weekly carload volume on eastern railroads fell 12.3%, while those in the West fell 12% compared with the same week last year.

Petroleum product shipments rose 53.6% from a year ago.

Railroad volume is considered an important economic indicator. Intermodal traffic, which tends to be higher-valued merchandise than bulk commodities, uses trains for the long haul and trucks for shorter distances at either end of the trip.