Global Shipping Crisis Impacts UK De-Icing Salt Supply

The impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be seen across the world, one of the more unexpected might be the supply of de-icing salt.

Why is there a problem with shipping?

The global shipping infrastructure has always ran on a “just in time” basis, operating at near maximum capacity to retain low costs. This has gone unnoticed by most of the world, but when recently coupled with the supply and demand disruptions caused across the globe by COVID, it has resulted in a global shipping crisis.

Online Rock Salt typically imports roughly 30,000 tonnes of white de-icing marine salt per year using large shipping vessels to transport the product into our local ports from overseas. These shipping issues have caused a large increase in the cost of bringing in such vessels, effectively putting an additional cost on all white salt in the UK.

Rock salt suppliers within the UK have taken note of this increase in UK market price for white salt and have also begun to charge a premium for this alternative to white salt, with rises of up to ten percent.

How have we prepared?

Fortunately, Online Rock Salt have been preparing early in the season with large reserves of both loose and bagged white and rock salt. This will help ensure we have an ample supply throughout the winter season. We maintain a strong relationship with our local ports, allowing us to be as competitive as possible when bidding for our next shipping vessels to import more white salt. Our longstanding relationship with the Winsford Rock Salt Mine will also help through the upcoming season, allowing us access to local rock salt supplies despite any ongoing shipping issues.

In an effort to keep prices down, we have bought salt ahead, and are absorbing costs ourselves

Ian Mercer

What does the future hold?

We will continue to do everything possible to ease the current situation, but with inflated shipping costs forecast to continue well into next year, if not 2023, the future is uncertain. We would advise people to stock up for the season ahead now, taking advantage of the current prices on offer. View our available options for both white and rock salt here.

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