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January 18, 2013 8:10 AM, EST
Intermodal Traffic Rises 10.4% for Week

U.S. rail intermodal traffic rose 10.4% last week over the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said.

Container traffic increased by 13.3% to 224,597 units, and trailer traffic fell 8.7% to 28,299 units, AAR said.

Railroad carloads — excluding intermodal — fell 6.4% to 279,893 units for the week, AAR said in its weekly report.

Thirteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week last year, led by a 47.7% jump in petroleum products.

Weekly carload volume fell 3.6% in the East and 8.1% in the West, AAR said.

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.