Cargo shipments down at Toledo port

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Officials at the Port of Toledo are blaming record-low coal business and a drop in salt shipments after a warm winter for a nearly 13-percent decline in cargo traffic last year.

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's year-end statistics show ships loaded or unloaded just more than 10 million tons of cargo in Toledo last year, down 12.95 percent from the 11.5 million tons that crossed the docks in 2011.

The Blade newspaper (http://bit.ly/Wyhlwt ) reports that coal led the decline. Coal shipments dropped to around 2.4 million tons -- the lowest volume since the port started keeping records in 1947. Officials say that's because electric utilities facing clean-air mandates are using less coal.

An increase in the grain business was among the port's bright spots in 2012.

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Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/