Ice Melt Market Update

November 05, 2021
ice melt on roads

As we enter ice melt season, we want to make you aware of where the industry stands, what to expect this winter, and how to best meet the challenges ahead.

Limited freight and personnel availability throughout the supply chain, along with the hurricanes earlier this year, are limiting both production and distribution of ice melt. We expect product shortages and price increases this season. Our biggest recommendation is to plan ahead and secure products as soon as possible. Packaged ice melt will be especially vulnerable to these issues because its production process is more involved. With the current situation, our suppliers are focusing on blends over plain salt.

Ocean and river freight are currently backlogged across the board, which is a problem for the market because most bulk salt is transported via water. We expect foreign bulk salt supplies to be unreliable this winter because global freight is especially uncertain. Because ATS sources bulk salt from domestic mines with large stockpiles, we are confident in our ability to deliver. Our geographic territory also overlaps closely with the river logistics system, which allows us to meet your ice melt needs despite some of the issues in the industry. 

Due to all of the supply chain issues described above, we expect to see price increases from all of our ice melt suppliers at some point during the season. Because these price increases will affect the industry across the board, beware of prices that seem too good to be true. Not all ice melt products are created equal, so pay attention to quality. If you’re skeptical of a “good deal” on ice melt, we recommend inspecting the product before you commit to purchasing it. We also expect increasing shortages if the current problems worsen, as some of our suppliers rely on barges and vessels arriving at their stockpiles in season.

It’s worth reiterating that your best strategy during this volatile time is to secure ice melt as soon as possible. The sooner, the better for both supply and pricing. Without being able to predict the weather, we recommend planning for the worst-case scenario and saving any leftover product for next winter. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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