U.S. rail intermodal traffic rose 1.6% last week over the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said.
Container traffic for the week ended Saturday rose 3% to 210,900 units, while trailer traffic dropped 8.1% to 27,889 units, the group said.
Railroad carloads, excluding intermodal, fell 6.3% to 265,839 units for the week, AAR said in its weekly report.
Intermodal traffic for the first four weeks of the year rose 7% to almost 920,000 units, while railcar traffic fell 7% to about 1.1 million units.
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.