December & January Salt Moves
Over the last 18 months, there has been a shortage of road salt available to private companies around the Great Lakes. With the labor strike at Compass Minerals in Goderich, Ontario, and the ongoing water leak issues at Cargill mine in Cleveland OH, production has substantially slowed down.
Using contacts in the marine business, Ashton Marine helped source one West Michigan-based company with enough road salt to fulfill their winter contracts. The salt arrived by ship in New Orleans and was barged to South Chicago where it was then transloaded into our new Great Lakes ABS hopper barges. Ashton Marine completed two trips from Chicago to Muskegon MI and each trip moved 3,600 tons of salt. Our weathertight covers kept the salt dry even in Lake Michigan’s rough December conditions.
With the harsh winter we just experienced, there is no excess of salt left over and private salt consumers could again face shortages again in 2020. Prices look to stay steady until next winter and barges of salt are already starting to arrive in South Chicago for next year. Consumers will need to commit to their salt in late spring/early summer 2019 if they want to be guaranteed to have it by first snowfall.