February 22, 2007 3:00 PM, EST

Intermodal Traffic Declines for Week

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Rail intermodal traffic fell 2.2% last week, due in part to continuing bad weather, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday.Intermodal volume was 223,063 trailers and containers for the week ended Friday, compared with the same week last year. Trailer volume fell 10.3% while containers inched up 0.4%, AAR said in its weekly report.Rail carload traffic declined 5% for the week, led by a 28.4% decline in lumber and wood products. Metallic ores and automotive parts also saw double-digit percentage declines.Total carload volume was estimated at 30.9 billion ton-miles, down 4% from a year earlier.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 the shorter distance at either end of the trip.