MORE than 10,000 tonnes of salt has arrived at the Port of Southampton – ready to treat up to 75,000 miles of UK roads.

The city’s biggest shipment of salt in four years will be blended to make grit, with more snow and freezing weather expected in many parts of the UK.

Port operator ABP took delivery of the huge load on behalf of its customer National Gritting Services (NGS). It arrived from Tunisia on the general cargo vessel EEMS Voyager and was discharge by terminal operator Solent Stevedores.

Mayus Karia, group managing director at NGS, said: "The NGS Group is pleased to announce the arrival of this vessel chartered by us, against the Brexit backdrop, in circumstances where demand is high and shortages have started to appear. We continue to support and prioritise stock for essential services at a difficult time for the country with the Covid pandemic.

“We would like to pass our special thanks to Solent Stevedores, the Port of Southampton (ABP), Shipping Agent J Bellamy and the ship owners, for their support and assistance in these challenging times. Our vessels of salt cargo will continue to arrive through the rest of the winter".

This salt shipment could cover up to 75,000 miles of single lane, seven metre wide road to prevent it from icing. The high purity white salt works faster than rock salt and leaves no residue or stains.

Ray Facey, commercial manager at Solent Stevedores, said: “We have enjoyed a close relationship with NGS for a number of years, handling a number of bulk shipments of salt though our facility within ABP’s Port of Southampton. It is great that the product will be primarily used to overcome some of the cold weather challenges in the locality.”

Alastair Welch, director of ABP Southampton, said: “This latest shipment of salt represents a great example of how, together with our customers and partners, we play an important role in making the UK’s road network safer for everyone.

“Our Port in Southampton is less than two miles away from the M27 and has direct rail links to the national railway network, which means it provides our customers with an efficient way to transport their products to other parts of the country.”