March 8, 2013 8:30 AM, EST
Intermodal Traffic Rises 9.7% for Week
Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

U.S. rail intermodal traffic rose 9.7% to 249,238 units last week over the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said.

Year-to-date, intermodal traffic rose 7.6% to 2.2 million units over the same period last year.

For the month, intermodal traffic rose 10.5% to 983,078, compared with February last year, the first double-digit year-over-year increase in two years, AAR said.

Railroad carloads rose 0.2% to 283,819 units for the week, according to AAR.

Four of the 10 carload groups posted increases, compared with the same week last year, led by a 69.5% jump in petroleum products.

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