June heat causing local ice shortage
Several truckloads of ice were delivered to Tennessee Valley Ice Company on Wednesday, just like every day for the past few weeks.
Several truckloads of ice were delivered to Tennessee Valley Ice Company on Wednesday, just like every day for the past few weeks. Sales manager Ryan Doolittle says because it's been so hot lately his customers are using ice just as fast as they can get it.
"Convenience stores, grocery stores, contractors, manufacturing facilities. Everybody's using ice right now," says Doolittle.
They make 200 tons of ice here each day and send some of it to their distribution sites in middle Tennessee and North Carolina. The high demand has them running short.
"Between those three distribution facilities and here in our Chattanooga market that we run, 200 tons isn't enough," adds Doolittle.
The only thing he could do is to bring in ice from other suppliers--50 to 100 tons a day.
"We turn to our friends in the ice industry in other locations like Atlanta, Knoxville. Meridian, Mississippi. Athens, Alabama. Nashville, Tennessee," says Doolittle.
It's a lot of extra shipping cost and labor cost. Crews have been working 10 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week. The company's not in the red, but for now, profits are gone. Doolittle says they're breaking even, taking a bit of a harder hit than normal for this time of the year.
However, he isn't necessarily wishing for cooler weather. Doolittle mainly wants to keep the relationships with his customers from getting ice cold.
"For ice guys, we don't care if it comes. If it's hot all year we'll be alright with that," says Doolittle, with a chuckle.
To put it in perspective, the high temperature in Chattanooga has reached above 90° on 13 days so far this month, through June 20. This includes seven consecutive days from June 14 through June 20. The hottest so far this month has been 95° on June 16.