Are you getting the most out of your stretch wrap? Find out how properly packing and wrapping pallets can help you protect your investment, reduce waste and save money – all while delivering the highest quality to your customers.
1. The Right Wrap
The load type will determine what type of stretch wrap you need, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from. The right wrap for the job should allow you to do more with less and reduce cost per load.
Start by selecting the right gauge (or thickness) of stretch wrap for the load, which often depends on weight. For example, 70 to 80-gauge wraps are standard in the industry and can secure loads from 2,200 pounds to 2,400 pounds. If you ship lighter materials, you can reduce costs by selecting a thinner wrap. However, if you ship heavier loads using a thinner wrap you’ll end up using a lot more product than you would had you selected a thicker gauge.
It’s important to consider the cost of the wrapped pallet over the cost of the roll to ensure you’re getting the best value. Other things to consider are the shape of the load, the film’s opacity, its protection against UV rays, as well as tear resistance, composition and containment potential.
Depending on the volume of pallets you wrap, it might be worth investing in an automated stretch wrap machine. These machines provide consistent containment, increase productivity and can help reduce the risk of injury in your facility. Hand-held stretch wrappers are another option which can help improve efficiency and be more ergonomic for employees.
3. Packing it RIGHT
Every load needs to be packed a certain way before you can start wrapping it. Use pallets that are the right size for the items you’re transporting and arrange boxes as close to the edges of the pallet as possible without going over. Start with heavier items on the bottom and use dunnage, or filler materials, to eliminate spaces between items. As you’re stacking, be sure to place boxes in an overlapping pattern to reduce the likelihood of them tipping or sliding. The final result should be a cube – not a pyramid – to make it more stable and easier to wrap.
4. That’s A Wrap!
Now that your load is ready, it’s time to wrap! To help secure the load, use strapping to bind the load to the pallet. Start from the base and as you go around it, overlap the stretch wrap by 50% of its width. The containment force of the wrap should be the same at the top, bottom and middle of the load. The ideal containment force depends on the weight and shape of the load. Generally, heavy and unstable loads should have 15 to 22 pounds of containment force.
The right stretch wrap, combined with proper pallet packing training, can help protect your investment, reduce film usage and minimize costs.
Contact us for help finding the best stretch wrap for your facility.