“Here in Stetten we can supply 6,500 metric tons of road salt per day, and our four external warehouses a further 6,000 tons,” says Michael Baur, head of the loading station. 12,500 tons in a single day. If you express this weight in terms of New York’s 93-meter high Statue of Liberty, then Baur and his team of eight load 55 such statues onto the trucks on a good day.
“The summers used to be quieter,” says the 44-year-old, “but the severe winters in the past few years have changed purchasing behavior fundamentally. The road maintenance depots have set up central warehouses which they fill long before the onset of winter.” However, in a harsh winter, local authorities and road maintenance depots still have to place additional orders. This means extra shifts for Baur and his team. Normally, loading time begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. But even in autumn it is often extended to 6 p.m., and on days with heavy snowfall as late as 10 p.m. “We always keep 1,000 tons of road salt in stock,” says Baur, “so that we can buffer a conveyor belt failure below ground.”