Rail, Intermodal Traffic Drop

Port of Tacoma

Rail carload and intermodal freight traffic declined from a year ago for the week ended Saturday, continuing a trend this year, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.

Rail intermodal volume fell 6.3% year-over-year to 237,928 trailers and containers, AAR said in its weekly report.

Container volume fell 4.5% to 188,128 units, while trailer volume dropped 12.7% to 49,800.

Rail carload traffic totaled 336,746 cars, down 1.4% from a year ago.

The volumes were the worst week this quarter, Bear Stearns analyst Ed Wolfe wrote in a note to clients Thursday.

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.