The biggest factor in the decline: last year's mild winter, which led to smaller volumes of salt and coal arriving by ship, port officials said in a press release. The port is served by Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad.
Conversely, the amount of cargo moving to and from foreign ports increased nearly 35 percent in 2012. The port also registered increases in steel, grain and cement volumes.
"An increase in this measure of foreign trade suggests both positive economic trends and a greater appreciation of what the Port of Milwaukee offers," said Paul Vomholt, who was named the port's director in January.
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