Rail and intermodal traffic continued a downward trend of the past few weeks, with intermodal falling 2.5% last week and rail carload traffic declining 8.7% compared with a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.
Intermodal volume fell to 228,939 trailers and containers for the week ended Friday, the rail trade group said in its weekly report. Container volume edged up 1.1%, while trailers plunged 12.9%.
AAR estimated total rail freight volume for the week was 31.9 billion ton-miles, down 7.3% from a year ago.
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.