It is important for unit loads to be stabilized during shipping and handling. Stabilization helps to maintain load geometry, therefore reducing product loss and increasing safer handling. For many heavy loads a polypropylene strapping is used. When strapping products, it is important to be sure the strapping does not cut into the product container. Strapping is commonly replaced with cord to help reduce cost. If using strapping or chord, it is important to use corner guards to help protect your containers.
Shrink wrap is rarely used in load unitizing because of the high cost of shrink film, installation costs, and energy costs. The material of choice for most companies is stretch film. Stretch film can reduce the cost of load unitizing dramatically. Hand stretch wrapping a pallet typically runs about $1.40 per load, that number does vary depending on load size and weight. Normally machine stretch wrap is more economical and costs approximately $1.00 per load. Prestretched stretch film helps to reduce those costs even further and should be an option any company trying to increase efficiency should consider.
When using stretch film to wrap a pallet you should overlap each layer of film by about 40%. Be sure to overlap wrap past the top of the load to finish the pallet. The top wraps provide extra stabilization at the top of the load. For more information about unitizing a pallet load check out our stretch film library.