According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), U.S. intermodal set a new record high of 9.94 million trailers and containers. This is the seventh time in the past eight years that this has happened. For U.S. commodities, coal loadings were down for the full year, but gains in coke, waste and scrap and chemicals were up significantly.
Canadian rail showed a year-over-year gain in carloads, and intermodal was up 5.3% for 2003 over 2002. With agricultural harvests better in 2003 than 2002, carloads of farm products, excluding grain, were up 23.3% and grain was up 3.8%. Motor vehicles and equipment and coal carloads declined in 2003, but chemicals were up.
In Mexico, for Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) carload traffic was down 2.8% and intermodal up 10.9% for the year.