AAR: February cargo-rail traffic volume up slightly

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The association of American Railroads (AAR) released the U.S. rail traffic report this week for the month of February.

Last month, carload volume totaled 979,042, a decline of 110,132 (or 10.1 percent) compared with February of last year.

Trailer and container volume from February stood at 1,049,126, rising by 119,778 units (or 12.9 percent) over the same month last year.

Total combined carload and intermodal volume stood at 2,028,168, an increase of 9,646 units (or 0.5 percent).

Analysts said intermodal volume was negatively impacted by a West Coat labor dispute. Experts also attribute some of the fluctuation to Middle East developments.

"The economy is still giving off a lot of mixed signals, and rail traffic is too,” AAR Senior Vice President John Gray said. “Coal carloads remain very troubling, intermodal is doing well and the other rail traffic categories are somewhere in between. After Saudi announcements on energy pricing late last week, it is painfully evident that it will take a while for the shakeout in that sector to play itself out. Until that happens, and until it becomes clear that the disruptions abroad aren't spreading into the domestic economy, rail traffic will remain in an uncertain environment."

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