Prepping for winter: Road salt coming from Venezuela, Morocco & Egypt

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Port of Milwaukee is especially busy this time of year with hundreds of trucks loading up on salt and moving out -- they're gearing up for winter.

Just over 2 million tons of salt were brought into the Port of Milwaukee last year, it expects the same this year. Now, typically the salt comes from the Great Lakes salt mines. But this year, salt is coming from places much farther away.

"I think everyone, landscapers, municipalities and others they want to make sure they have enough salt. That's why this ship is here today," said Jeff Fleming, Port of Milwaukee.

A ship that's holding 20,000 tons of salt. Ordinarily the salt used to melt ice form our roads and parking lots come from mines all around the Great Lakes.

"But this season at the Port of Milwaukee we've seen salt from Venezuela, from Morocco, and we're expecting salt from Egypt," said Fleming.

Matt Ryan, President of MCR, a landscaping and snow removal company, typically buys his salt from local companies but with last year's harsh winter, supplies are down so Matt had to look elsewhere.

"Because their reserves were depleted last year, the only opportunity we had was to go overseas. And we were lucky enough to find two different areas where we could pull salt from," said Matt.

One ship took several weeks to arrive, and it will take 7 days to unload.

"What we wanted to do is help the economy, stimulate the economy and get a bunch of the local guys salt that they may not have had otherwise," said Matt.

MCR is bringing in a second ship with another 20,000 tons of salt. That ship is coming from Egypt. It is expected to arrive November 29th and will take 7 days to unload.