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February 22, 2013 4:10 PM, EST
Intermodal Traffic Rises 13.6% for Week
Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

U.S. rail intermodal traffic rose 13.6% last week over the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said.

AAR did not break down weekly intermodal trailer and container data, as it has previously. The rail trade group said it will now report the data on a monthly basis.

Year-to-date, intermodal traffic rose 6.8% to 1.66 million units over the same period last year.

Railroad carloads fell 1.2% to 278,596 units for the week, and AAR said it consolidated its commodity traffic into 10 distinct groups, from a previous from 20.

Three of the 10 carload groups posted increases, compared with the same week last year, led by a 56.1% jump in petroleum products.

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.