U.S. intermodal shipments by rail grew 4.8% in the week ended Jan. 4 compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported.
Traffic grew to 186,875 units, AAR said in its weekly report issued Jan. 9. Rail carload traffic, which excludes intermodal, rose 2.1% to 246,846 carloads, according to AAR.
Intermodal traffic rose 8% in December to 958,778, from the same month last year, but carloads declined 0.9% to 1 million, according to the rail trade group.
“2013 ended the way it began — strong intermodal, weak coal and mixed performance for other commodities, resulting in a year for rail traffic that could have been much better but also could have been much worse,” AAR Senior Vice President John Gray said in a statement.
“A variety of indicators seem to be saying that the economy is slowly strengthening; a trend we expect to continue in 2014,” he said.