Landscape Ontario, and our salt suppliers, have warned us about the rock salt shortages this year. Salt suppliers are predicting inventory shortages beyond 2019 depending on weather, production capacity at the mines and overseas import activity.
Top Reasons for Inventory Shortage
- An ice storm before spring 2018 depleted inventory
- The Compass Minerals mine in Goderich (the world's largest salt supplier) experienced an 11-week strike this summer
- Another major producer (Cargill) is having difficulty with maintaining supply because of a water leak in their Cleveland mine.
- Municipalities are ordering more salt due to liability issues
- Increasing inclement weather events has necessitated the use of more road salt
- Municipalities have been given priority because of contractual obligations
The major North-American mines have informed contractors and suppliers that there would be little or no supply from traditional sources. As a result, suppliers are sourcing salt from all over the world. However, transportation costs are higher, and logistics are complex. In addition, the process is full of risk from quality, financial and transportation perspectives. Reduced supply and increased demand are causing a great deal of insecurity.
We are seeing substantial price increases because of this situation.
As your service provider and safety partner we would like to work together to develop a proactive plan to deal with this serious issue. The issue affects both of us.
Some initiatives we are developing include the following:
- Pre-purchasing and stockpiling over ten-thousand tons of rock salt at our facilities
- The development of a menu of service levels. Not all properties require the same service level. In some cases, you may be able to close off areas. This could reduce salt considerably.
- Post warning signs and encourage tenants to wear proper footwear.
Additional considerations for reduced salt use include using segmented plows, using treated salt when available, pre-wetting salt, enhanced training, calibration of equipment, locating snow piles judicially, using direct liquid applications prior to a snow event (anti-icing), the use of sand and alternative products where appropriate, etc.
We will do all we can to ensure winter safety.