Salt shortage hitting plow companies

The salt garage at a Kent County Road Commission complex. (file photo)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Plow companies throughout West Michigan are starting to feel the effects of the long winter.

“As far as bulk salt, we have been cut off since Feb. 7,” said Jeff Rylaarsdam, who is the co-owner of Eco Green Supply in Wyoming.

Rylaarsdam gets salt from the salt companies and then supplies it to plow companies all over West Michigan. Currently, his company has no bulk salt to give out.

“You can look elsewhere, you can look down south, but freight is just so expensive,” he said. “You hear freight rates of $200 a ton.”

That’s about $130 more than what Rylaarsdam normally pays when he can get salt from a company in Muskegon.

Salt suppliers have been cut off from salt companies so that the companies can continue to provide salt to city and county road commissions to put down on roads.

But it isn’t just the salt suppliers that are having issues; plow companies are feeling the pain as well.

Jeff Sneller, who is the co-owner of Sneller Landscaping, said his company still has salt, but it’s doing what it can to make sure that salt lasts.

“We add liquid calcium chloride to our granulated salt so that the combination of the sodium chloride and the calcium chloride helps make that product go farther,” Sneller said.

Sneller said his company has to get its salt from Toledo, Ohio, and that’s driving up the costs for him, which means he has to pass that cost on to his customers.

“Prices are really going through the roof and that is driven by freight costs and supply and demand, Sneller said. “The little bit of supply that is left is really in high demand, and that is really affecting the price. Our price is up significantly.”

Both Sneller and Rylaarsdam said the salt shortage is one of the worst they have ever experienced, and didn’t see any relief anytime soon.

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