A Guide to Stretch Film: 6 Major Benefits
Stretch film is a popular method to secure and protect packages during shipping and handling, and for a good reason: it’s efficient, cost effective, and sturdy. Made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), stretch film, or stretch wrap, is a plastic film that combines strength with flexibility.
Stretch film is used for pallet wrapping products for transport. The pallet wrap's elastic recovery forms a rubber band effect, so the packaging film wants to return to its original size after being stretched around a pallet load. This causes high coefficient friction between products on their pallets and secures loads during transportation.
If you’re thinking about switching up your shipping and handling process read about the benefits of stretch film utilization below.
Instead of moving one product at a time, you can use stretch wrap to secure a unit of products onto a pallet for transportation. This reduces the time it takes to move units and reduces the amount of workplace injury that can occur when lifting heavy items. Move more products safely in a shorter amount of time with stretch wrap.
Stretch film can be applied by hand wrapping or using a stretch wrap machine, which will depend on your company’s needs and the amount of packages you are shipping every day. The application processes for both hand stretch film and automatic stretch wrappers are quick and easy.
If you run a smaller operation that does not wrap more than 50 pallets per day, hand wrapping will be your most efficient option. On the other hand, if you’re running a much larger operation, automatic or semi-automatic stretch wrapper equipment is your best option. There are many different types of machine stretch film and hand film to choose from that cater to your specific business and operational needs.
Besides increased efficiency, stretch wrapping offers multiple levels of protection for you, your products, and your employees. These specialty films protect your products from the elements including dust, dirt, moisture, and in some cases UV rays and corrosion.
Stretch wrapping your pallets also protects from load tampering and theft. Opaque stretch film provides protection from pilferage. Stretch wrap loads are difficult to access without proper tools, offering puncture resistance. Additionally, any lost or damaged loads are easy to keep track of when unitized onto one pallet as opposed to keeping a log of each individual box.
Stretch film keeps your products safe from damage during transportation as it tightly secures your inventory. With limited slippage, stretch film offers peace of mind during shipping and handling.
Stretch film also protects from employee injury. Stretch film equipment is a safer option for employee use as opposed to using straps which can cause injury when putting straps around pallets and when removing them.
Another benefit of stretch film is its ability to maximize inventory control. Stretch film allows for the unitization of similar products so you can take inventory in units as opposed to individual products. This saves time and energy in the inventory process. It also improves inventory accuracy because it cuts out the potential for product separation which accounts for inconsistencies in the inventory process.
With so many types of stretch film, like cast stretch film or blown stretch film, you can choose which wrap film is right for your business and products. For example, if you are storing products outside, consider a UVI stretch film which inhibits ultraviolet rays when products are kept in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Select different colored stretch films to help with product organization and easy identification. Stretch film also offers ventilated options to reduce spoilage caused by condensation. It is still the same sturdy and strong stretch film with more flexibility and it won’t get caught in forklift wheels when handling.
The gauge, or thickness of stretch wrap is also varied depending on the load profile and type of package. Select from gauges that will protect your packages without burning a hole in your wallet. If you are unsure which gauge is right for you, let the experts analyze your current process and future needs to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
Stretch wrap is more cost effective than using straps or shrink wrap to contain product loads. Stretch wrap gives you more bang for your buck when it comes to load containment and product protection.
In one case study, a company was able to reduce their stretch film spend by 12% and reduced the amount of stretch film used by 25% in one year. By utilizing stretch film, this company eliminated damages, reduced annual stretch film spend, and saw an improvement towards sustainability efforts.
Stretch wrap also lowers costs of product handling. Unitizing products on pallets lowers the cost of handling and saves on labor. Palletized products can be moved faster, which cuts down on shipping costs as carrier vehicles spend less time in loading docks.
Depending on the application, some stretch wrapping is eco-friendly, and can be made from 100% recyclable materials. Additionally, when stretch wrap is kept relatively clean, it can be recycled for money in some cases. Once an uncontaminated stretch wrap is recycled, it can be used to produce another stretch film roll.
Stretch film also reduces the need for excess tape or labels which cuts out a major contributor of plastic waste. With stretch film, less is more.
Stretch Film = Safe Product Transportation
In the packaging industry, stretch film is essential for secure and cost effective shipping and handling. Its elastic recovery, strength, and tear resistance makes it the smart solution for safe product transportation.
With so many different types of stretch film available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Group O can help your business assess your needs to determine which type of stretch film is right for you. For more information call 866-476-8761.