Rail carload freight rose modestly but intermodal traffic continued a downward trend last week, falling 3.6% compared with a year ago, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.
Intermodal volume declined to 223,126 trailers and containers, the group said in its weekly report. Container volume dipped 0.6%, while trailers fell by 13.2%.
Rail carloads fell by 0.5%. It was the fifth straight decline for intermodal, while rail carloads had fallen in the four previous weeks.
Total volume was estimated at 34.6 billion ton-miles, up 2.4% from last year.
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.