Demand for salt so high, companies having trouble keeping up

ALBANY, N.Y. – Demand for salt is so high with recent bouts of snow that providers say it’s difficult to keep up with deliveries.

The majority of the salt comes from the Port of Albany. According to one supplier, Morton Salt, although salt is available, it’s been difficult to keep up with demand.

As winter storms continue to blast the Capital Region, local municipalities and counties including Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga are struggling to keep up with salt supplies.

A salt shed at the Saratoga County Department of Public Works holds 7,000 tons of salt when full, but as of Tuesday, it had only 300 tons left. Saratoga County Department of Public Works Commissioner Keith Manz said he only has enough salt left to line county roads one time.

“We’ve already spent our budget that we normally spend from January to June,” he said.

Each storm costs about $55,000 for salt alone. With another bout of snow possible on Thursday, Manz is concerned he could run out.

“Normally on a storm three, four inches or more, we go three times around the beat which is about 1,000 tons, so if we run straight salt, as you can see, we can probably get once around the beat and then we’re out,” he said.

To combat the lack of salt, Manz and other municipalities have made changes to try and save what’s left.

“We’re running a mixture of salt and sand, which is called a hot mix, to preserve the salt,” he said.

But Saratoga County DPW employee Garth Barton said there’s nothing better than salt alone.

“Salt is the only thing that really melts the snow,” Barton said.

Manz said he’s still waiting on a Morton Salt shipment he ordered 22 days ago. A new shipment of Morton Salt arrived to the stock pile at the Port of Albany on Tuesday.

Denise Lauer is the Director of Communications for Morton Salt. She said in a statement said: “Customer orders have surged due to the intensity and frequency of cold weather and snow events. Demand is high and there is a limited availability of trucks. We are running extended hours of operation at salt stock piles and production sites.”

The town of Malta, village of Ballston Spa and city of Saratoga Springs are also waiting on salt shipments.

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