Mon-Fri: 8:00AM - 4:30PM
Can We Wait for a Salt Shortage This Year?

Can We Wait for a Salt Shortage This Year?

Justin Rollin

Road safety is always important, however, during winter months, clean roads can mean the difference between life and death. In recent years, less salt has been produced, thus less salt is available on the market. The pandemic has also played a role in anticipation of an even more critical year for rock salt this winter. This could spell a disaster and create a severe salt shortage in the Midwest in the 2023-2024 winter season.

What Can Cause a Rock Salt Shortage?

Many factors can contribute to a salt shortage. Unpredictable weather is the main cause, in recent years, winters and winter storms have been utterly temperamental. Other issues can affect a salt shortage, such as mining difficulties and worker strikes at salt mines. This can force vendors to import salt from other countries, which has its own difficulties, made even more pronounced due to the recent worldwide pandemic. A salt shortage can cause significant impairment to business operations, but can be avoided with great planning.

Rock Salt Shortage May Increase the Pricing

As the salt supply is unpredictable at best, there is a chance that salt prices will increase. This accounts for any additional transportation and import fees due to the high demand as it's brought in from countries around the world. If you've already outlined your snow and ice removal budget for this season, consider how salt shortages might impact your pricing. Some suppliers in Midwestern states will continue to adjust their prices throughout the winter season to account for how to handle a salt shortage. Make sure to explore the bulk rock salt price for the 2023-2024 season as soon as possible.

Will There Be a Rock Salt Shortage in 2023-2024?

is there a salt shortage

In certain areas of the country, the winter season is linked to snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, and other winter weather conditions. In many cases, rock salt is used to help melt snow to help reduce the impact on the outdoor surface and keep unsafe conditions at bay. Without enough salt, certain areas of the country might get dangerous levels of snow and ice that make it significantly more challenging to keep high-traffic areas safe and businesses operating as usual.

So, is there a rock salt shortage in 2023? This winter, the expected salt supply could become an issue in some areas of the country. For example, there have been both delays and partial closures in the Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway transportation systems. As the temperature only continues to decrease and contractors do everything they can to combat a shortage of salt, the availability and cost of rock salt are changing. Workers in the Bahamas have also gone on strike and there are fewer shipments of this material reaching its customers. Because there are so many benefits to using rock salt, this is the most popular option to combat snow and ice. As a result, roads and parking lots might accumulate more material and become harder to keep safe.

Ready to get started?

Ready to get started?

Make sure you have a salt team that can deliver

Get a Quote

How to Be Prepared for the Ice Melt Shortage?

There are many ways to prepare for a salt shortage, it all boils down to planning. Below, you will find ways to ensure that your winter will be abundant regarding safety.

1. Buy Earlier

To avoid being in a crisis this winter, buy your salt early in the season. Buying early comes with many advantages, such as the choices being greater, prices being lower, and you can purchase as much as desired, thus preventing a shortage. This is basic supply and demand: buy early and invest in your peace of mind.

2. Buy Salt in Bulk

Buying in bulk may seem like the equivalent of panic buying, but it is quite different. To ensure a safe and affable winter, purchasing large quantities of salt and salt products will lead to a sense of serenity.

3. Conserve the Salt that You Have

snow salt shortage

It is imperative to conserve your salt; this can be done in many ways, but the most obvious is don’t use more than is necessary. Another way to maximize salt is by treating it with additives, increasing the desired result while using less salt. Cleaning the pathways and plowing regularly can also aid in conserving salt.

4. Prepare a Snow Management Plan

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Working out a plan before winter knocks on the door is essential. There are many ways to avoid a dangerous winter season. It is always better to expect the unexpected rather than suffer the consequences of poor planning.

5. Store Your Salt Correctly

Storing bulk salt is an integral part of managing your supply properly. Ideally, you'll be able to store it in a location that doesn't expose your salt to moisture as this can cause damage to your supply.

How to Manage the Salt Shortage If It Happens

rock salt shortage

To best prepare for the salt shortage, you should assume it will happen. You will need to shift business practices and adjust salt usage. Even if you have stockpiled salt throughout the year, it is still wise to take these measures. Preparedness is key to making the snow removal process smooth.

  • Look into rock salt alternatives. In addition to using sand to combat inclement weather, you can also use materials such as cat litter, sugar beet juice, and coffee grounds. However, we recommend professional grade products instead of these DIY solutions.
  • Reduce your salt usage. You can incorporate alternatives into your snow and ice removal practices. Some good alternatives are beet extract solution, magnesium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate.
  • Increase other snow and ice management techniques, like plowing and shoveling.
  • Mix your salt supply with sand to make it go further. This allows you to use the salt you have for longer. You can increase supply with another very useful element in winter weather management. This way you can withstand multiple snowstorms and heavy snow events.
  • Pre-treat the area you’re servicing with liquid anti-icing materials. This will decrease the amount of salt needed for a job.
  • Ensure your equipment is properly calibrated to avoid over-salting, and make sure to read more about salt spreader calibration.
  • Discuss the salt shortage with your customers. This will help you identify priority areas that need your attention. It is important your sidewalks and other high traffic areas are safe place for your customers.
  • Include clauses within your contracts that protect you if the salt prices do increase.

Leave the Salt Shortage Issues to the Experts

road salt shortage

To avoid a panicked situation this season, it’s best to partner with a seasoned team that can provide you with hands-on guidance. Give yourself a break this winter, start a plan now. Start salt hunting, and don’t hesitate to get a quote for more information from our team at Ninja De-Icer. Be proactive this winter and not reactive! Our team will gladly visit your property to help you come up with a plan to navigate your salt supply.