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January 25, 2013 8:30 AM, EST
Intermodal Traffic Rises 13.5% for Week
Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

U.S. rail intermodal traffic rose 13.5% last week over the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said.

Container traffic increased by 16.4% to 220,825 units, and trailer traffic fell 4.8% to 28,572 units, AAR said.

Railroad carloads — excluding intermodal — fell 3.5% to 277,490 units for the week, AAR said in its weekly report.

Nine of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week last year, led by a 60.9% jump in petroleum products.

Weekly carload volume fell 3% in the East and 3.9% 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.