Great Lakes shipping cargo was down in 2012

      GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Great Lakes freighters carried less cargo in 2012 compared to 2011.

      That's according to the annual report released Friday by Ohio-based Lake Carriers' Association.

      U.S.-flag ships working on the Great Lakes carried 89.5 million tons of the dry-bulk cargo last year, which is down 4.6 percent from 2011. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports (

      ) it's also down 1.5 percent from the five-year average of 90.8 million tons.

      Iron ore shipments dropped 4.3 percent from 2011 but the total was above the five-year average of 42 million tons.

      Coal shipments fell to 17.6 million tons last year, below the five-year average of 22.5 million tons.

      The decline has been partly attributed to the phasing out of Canadian coal-fired electrical plants.

      Cement and limestone shipments were slightly ahead of the five-year average.