In the meantime, Rob left me with two interesting insights I wanted to pass along.
There’s no two ways about it, the price of salt is up when compared to this time last year. Rob estimates the increase at around 15%, which doesn’t sound like much when you consider the price of fuel this summer. He also anticipates commercial contractors will begin seeing fuel surcharges on their invoices, as well. “I expect you’ll start seeing fuel surcharges as a separate line item on salt bills. But I expect commercial contractors are going to turn to their clients to do the same thing. … If you don’t [add] fuel charges this year, then you won’t be around next winter because you’re just going to get clobbered.”
Expect suppliers to demand snow professionals adhere to the contracted amount of salt they commit to purchase for Winter 2022-23, Rob says. “If you say I’m going to take 1,000 tons and I’ll need 500 [tons] by 12/31 and 500 [tons] after 12/31, there will be a penalty for not achieving the goals you’ve established you’d take. And from the supply side, you can’t blame them. They’re not going to sit on a few million tons of salt and [have contractors] say they don’t need it. [Suppliers are] less likely to be understanding of your problems [this winter] and more demanding that you understand their problems.”