DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Coast Guard cutter has started breaking the ice in the Twin Ports harbor in preparation for the 2011 shipping season.

The Seaway Port of Duluth is expecting a good year, with strong demand for taconite, coal and grain. Port Authority spokesman Adele Yorde says port traffic should be closer to levels before the current recession.

Eight Great Lakes freighters, idled at the port for the winter, are again bustling with crew members getting the ships ready for the shipping season.

The Duluth News Tribune says the James R. Barker is expected to be the first freighter out of the harbor. It’s been docked at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wis., and is scheduled to leave March 17 with a load of coal bound for Marquette, Mich.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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