Pallet wrap has been a popular packaging option since the 1970’s when it emerged as an affordable alternative over pallet shrink bags. Early pallet wrap did not have the amount of stretch rate the pallet wrap of today has. Like any product, pallet wrap has evolved over time and now has many options to choose from.
Most people outside of the packaging industry are not familiar with the options available when choosing pallet wrap. The options below are only a few pallet wrap choices to help better decide which type to buy.
Pallet Wrap with Holes
Pallet wrap with holes is also referred to as vented pallet wrap. The holes are Die-cut for maximum airflow. Standard wrapped pallets have very limited airflow and retain condensation.
This airflow is essential when wrapping produce, frozen items, wood and more. Companies wrapping fresh produce can trap moisture in wrapped pallets. This trapped moisture can cause produce to mold and spoil faster. A pallet wrap with holes allows the moisture to escape promoting longer storage times and reducing waste.
Frozen items have condensation problems as well. Temperature changes during transport can cause frozen products to sweat. With standard pallet wrap the trapped condensation refreezes and forms ice crystals on the exterior of the package. The ice crystals do not look good during in-store display. They also present a problem if the frozen product changes temperatures. The ice crystals melt and cause boxes and packages to become damp and easily torn.
Vented pallet wrap comes standard in an 80 gauge thickness. The resin formula used for the film has a superior stretch rate. This increased stretch rate allows the holes to stretch and more airflow to occur. The increased stretch also promotes a superior hold. Vented pallet wrap can be applied by hand or machine. Hand rolls come in 1000 ft. rolls and machine rolls come in 3,300 ft rolls?
Pallet Wrap for Machines
Pallet wrap for machines has been around for several decades. As pallet wrappers have evolved, the resin formulas for pallet wrap have as well. To make the wrap, extruders melt resin pellets to be formed into a thin film.
As the pellets are melted, a variety of additives can be mixed in to provide a wide range of characteristics. For machine pallet wrap, a superior stretch rate is desired. Some stretch wrap machines have the capability of 250% to 300% stretch rates. These increased stretch rates reduce film cost and usage. Of course, the amount of stretch a pallet wrapper can produce is limited to the film being used. Low stretch rates can begin to tear at 60%-70% stretch.
When looking for a machine pallet wrap be sure to keep in mind the many options available. Standard “gauged” pallet wrap is the status quo and not near as prevalent as it used to be.
Equivalent or eq. machine stretch wrap makes up the majority of the machine pallet wrap sold today. The equivalent wrap comes in many different varieties. The main characteristics are thinner films with comparable or equivalent hold retention. Be sure to ask for a sample of equivalent wrap and true gauged wrap when looking for a new supplier. You may be impressed with the cost savings and load retention of an eq machine pallet wrap.
Pallet Wrap with Handles
Standard hand pallet wrap comes with a 3-inch core. Holding the inside of the core can hurt and become uncomfortable after a few revolutions. Users have to hold the roll tight to stretch and properly apply the film.
Using a pallet wrap with handles is a perfect option for wrapping on the go. The core size for a pallet wrap with handles is one inch. The one-inch core extends out of the film for quick and easy handling. Many companies wrapping items in multiple areas use pallet wrap with handles. The film rolls with handles are easier to apply and cause less stress on hands during application.
Small 2” bundling rolls up to 30” wide rolls are available. After the roll is empty, the cardboard core can be recycled or discarded quickly.
Pallet Wrap with Logo
Pallet wrap with a printed logo is a form of advertising. Most people ordering pallet wrap with a logo have several people seeing the wrap before it is taken off the pallet. Companies use wrapped pallets in large events or outdoor facilities with high traffic.
Pallet wrap with a logo is available in roll widths from 5 inches wide to 20 inches wide. The logo can be printed up to ¾ the width of the film used and spaced out every 2 – 5 inches. The wrapped and finished look is a pallet fully covered with multiple company logos on each side.
When choosing a pallet wrap, color is important to keep in mind. For most logos, printing on white stretch film is ideal. The white film helps to make most logos pop. Any logo with white in it should be printed on a black film to add the contrast needed. Clear stretch film can be used as an economical option if the products being wrapped are white. The minimum order is 1 pallet for any printed pallet wrap. For hand rolls, there are 192 that can fit on a pallet. For machine rolls, 40 rolls fit each pallet. Additional costs include a 1-time plate fee ranging from $400 to $600 depending on the logo.
Eco-Friendly Pallet Wrap
Eco-friendly pallet wrap is continuously making new advancements. New formulas have been made to reduce composition time to 24 months or less. Eco-friendly film degradation is activated by light, oxygen, and moisture. Storage times can last longer when the film is kept from being opened. One of the primary weaknesses of eco-friendly wrap is load retention and memory. Many eco-friendly wraps do not have the same strength as a standard wrap. More revolutions are required to obtain a tight wrap.
Another common form of eco-friendly wrap is the equivalent stretch films mentioned above. The alternate resin formulas are made to reduce film thickness and usage. This reduces the cost for the customer and lowers carbon footprints. There are very strong 45 ga machine pallet wraps on the market. Many of the thinner films can wrap the same amount of product with half of the film being used.
When looking for an eco-friendly pallet wrap, remember tear and rip strength will not be as strong. A thinner equivalent film will hold a pallet of boxes very well, it may struggle to hold other items with jagged edges. The decreased performance will be seen easier with sharp or jagged objects.
Pallet wrap continues to evolve. Extruders are always developing new formulas and resins to provide stronger film catered to different industries. The 5 pallet wrap options mentioned in this article are only a small number of the choices currently available. We encourage you to look around or call someone (hopefully us) about the options available. Share what you are doing so they can recommend some options for your specific application.