Intermodal traffic on U.S. freight railroads gained 17.7 percent last week compared to the same week last year
, according to the Association of American Railroads. Container volume was up 20.1 percent over the 2009 week, while trailer volume gained 5.9 percent over last year. U.S. railroads originated 288,973 carloads last week, up 10.5 percent from 2009.

Compared with 2008, however, carloads decreased 10.3 percent, while intermodal traffic was still down 2.3 percent. Container volume rose 6.2 percent, while trailer volume fell 33.3 percent from the 2008 week.

Carload volume on eastern railroads was up 12.6 percent from last year, but down 14.9 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume increased 9.1 percent from last year, but fell 6.9 percent from two years ago.

Metal led the increase in carloads, followed by notable boosts in metallic ores, coke, and motor vehicles and equipment.

Year to date, rail volume is up 7.2 percent over 2009, while trailers or containers have gained 11.3 percent from last year.