Inflationary Concerns + Dry Ice Shortages
With the ever-increasing cost of dry ice blocks and dry ice pellets, cleaning contractors are faced with mitigating inflationary concerns when carrying out their dry ice blasting services.Dry Ice Media Procurement (always a challenge)
Dry ice blasting has always been an expensive proposition for contractors due to the high media costs – especially on large projects. Not only did cleaning companies have to deal with the high cost of dry ice pellets (read on the cost difference between dry ice media and wet ice media), they also had to deal with dry ice shortages.
Most dry ice blasting providers can’t afford to invest in a dry ice “pellitizer“ to ensure they never run out of blasting media. They’ve been at the “mercy of the market” on every cleaning job, and there are times when they can’t provide their ice blasting services efficiently. This may impact their reputation and brand in a negative way which results in a great deal of frustration for them and most importantly, their customers.
This article is a perfect example of dry ice shortages, but it is important to note that these shortages occurred before the onset of the world’s COVID 19 vaccination challenges.
In this BBC article (pre-Covid) they explain why dry ice shortages are exacerbated by the demand for CO2. Industries such as farming and food & beverage (just two examples from a long list) that rely heavily on CO2 to keep their businesses operational. When CO2 is in high demand, and supply is low, the costs increase down the line.
At times like this all dry ice blasting contractors are negatively affected with rising costs and/or shortages.
AND, if all of the above wasn’t enough of a challenge for dry ice blasting companies, along came COVID 19.
Once the first vaccines were successfully produced by Moderna and Pfizer it was great news, but these revolutionary mRNA vaccines require an extremely cold storage temperature. The warmest they can be at any time is minus 70 degrees Celsius - colder than winter in Antarctica!
This challenged logistics companies and the end-users responsible for vaccinating people in their communities.
All of the above drove up the price for CO2 affecting countless industries including all cleaning contractors relying on dry ice media to feed their dry ice blasting machines. In case you’re new to dry ice blasting technology, we recommend enjoying our in depth article on dry ice blasting.
Wet Ice Blasting and Coulson Ice Blast: A New Frontier
Long before the event of COVID 19 (circa 2012), Foster Coulson and his team of inspired engineers created a prototype ice blasting machine that uses WET ice blasting media instead of dry ice blasting media. This goal was set by Coulson for many reasons, but the high cost of dry ice media was high up on the list of priorities.
This was a “sea change” for the ice blasting market and soon to be on the radar of competitors and contractors alike.
To further improve upon their revolutionary new ice blasting technology, Coulson went on to develop the world’s first dual-mode ice blasting machine. This new machine, known as the IceStorm45, has the option for ice blasting technicians to switch between DRY ice blasting and WET ice blasting media.
Now operators had a wider array of cleaning applications they could conquer due to the different characteristics of dry & wet ice blasting. They could use dry ice blasting for those applications that require an ultra-soft touch on substrates, and switch to wet ice blasting (with the push of a button) to save media costs and perform more abrasive cleaning on tough-to-remove contaminants.
As the world still grapples with providing vaccines to billions of people, the demand for CO2 is still raging. Along with this reality there is an added pressure on the supply chain, and that is inflation.
The fears of inflation at the time of this publication are very real. With the passing of the United States Congress Bill H.R. 748 (the CARES act) resulting in the USA treasury releasing 1.9 billion in aid to American companies, small businesses and individuals inflationary concerns have grown.
Recently, President Biden introduced a massive 2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill he will be attempting to pass using “budget reconciliation“, and will likely be enacted due to their thin Senate majority and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.
With both the CARES act and the coming infrastructure bill, along with the billions of dollars allocated for COVID relief before the CARES act, the total spending by the United States Treasury could easily exceed 4-5 trillions US dollars.
Like all past world-wide calamities such as the Great Depression, the 1918 “Spanish Flu” Pandemic, WW1 and WWII, the end of the COVID 19 pandemic will MOST likely result is a world-wide economic thrust upward. As communities rejoice in finally opening up, it’s only natural for consumer and corporate spending to boom.
If you consider all of the above, it only stands to reason that the demand for CO2 will skyrocket as well. With these economic and political realities, COVID 19 vaccine programs will continue as more and more variants of the virus are mutating.
Market Demand for Wet Ice Blasting Technology
The demand for wet ice blasting technology will continue to increase going forward, and our team at Coulson Ice Blast is constantly improving our technology in a concerted effort to improve processes and increase profits for cleaning contractors all over the world – see our latest blog posts highlighting some of the companies now in the process of adding wet ice blasting to their product & service lines.
If you are in the process of doing market research in the quest to start your own ice blasting business, we hope this article has found you. We recommend checking out our in depth piece on starting an ice blasting business and how the IceStorm45 is arguably THE BEST ice blasting machine to beat your competition with.
Is your cleaning company ready for the boom? Are you ready to leverage the power of dual-mode ice blasting technology? Would you like to be first company in your City, State, or Country to bring the power of Coulson Ice Blast to your communities?