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How to stretch-wrap pallets.  6 simple tips to follow!

Filed under: Materials Handling

stretch wrap pallet

Stretch wrapping is a packaging technique used throughout the industry to secure items to a pallet for transportation.  This technique is especially useful when there are multiple boxes or products to be transported via a pallet.  Although stretch wrapping a pallet seems quite straightforward; you could say there is a certain art to this.  This blog aims to give you some simple tips to make sure you don’t damage transported products due to unsuccessful stretch wrapping. 

1. The Right Size: The first step is to make sure you have the right size pallet to accommodate the products your wish to wrap.  The best size is one that is not larger than the products placed on top as otherwise the plastic may tear on the sharp pallet corners; yet the pallet has to completely cover the base area of the products you want wrapped or otherwise you may have product damage at the end. 

2. Compact Tightly: The products need to be compacted together onto the pallet as closely as possible in order to prevent movement of them after they have been wrapped.  Once placed upon the pallet, it can be helpful to create enough space to easily access all sides of the pallet to wrap without difficulty; additionally if you don’t want to be bending down to wrap the base of the pallet you may want to consider elevating the pallet. 

3. Choose the right equipment: There are numerous machinery that are available for use depending on your specific product and barriers such as time and cost. Manual wrappers are available for the occasional job; whereas stretch wrap machines are suggested when wrapping more than 15 loads per day as they assist in reducing waste and to increase efficiency.  Check out our comparison of stretch wrapping vs. shrink wrapping.

4. pallet wrap with a knotAttaching the stretch wrap: Before you start wrapping it is important to securely attach the stretch wrap to the pallet.  It is best to stay away from knots which will take time to tear apart later.  One option would be to scrunch some plastic into a rope shape and wrap around one corner of the pallet; pulling tightly in order for the plastic to stick to each other.

5. Wrap from the base:Start wrapping at the base of the pallet; wrapping tightly and repeating a couple of times to ensure that it has a strong hold.  Then work your way up from the base; making sure that each layer is tightly joined to the previous one.


6. Ensure structural integrity :Once you have reached the top; test the wrapped structure to ensure it is sturdy.  If this is not the case you may want to consider working your way back down to wrap the structure with an extra layer.  Once completed; tear the shrink wrap and fold the end under one of the pallets edges. 

Have any questions about wrapping pallets? Or want to share some advice? Please comment below, thanks for reading.

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Your blog is really excellent. It inspires the readers. Thanks for sharing information .

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March 12, 2013 - 9:05 pm

Do you have any advice as to settings or tightness of wrap? Is this just product dependant?   

January 24, 2014 - 12:11 am

Hi Leigh,

Usually the tighter the better, so that what you are wrapping remain firmly fixed to the pallet and doesn’t move around or topple over. However, as you mention it probably does depend on what you are wrapping E.g. fragile goods may not be able to be wrapped too tightly due to chance of damaging the product.

AAL Admin
January 24, 2014 - 1:02 pm

At my new job, I need to learn how to stretch wrap pallets. I was so intimidated, but I like the job and want to learn. Your post helped a lot! I feel a bit more confident, but the rest will come with experience. Thanks for sharing smile

Steph Smith
May 30, 2015 - 2:19 am

                      How many times should a pallet be wrapped with stretch wrap? If I had a pallet that was 40x48, 30 in tall, and weighed anywhere from 500-1000 lbs. How many times would it need to wrapped with an automatic wrapper?

October 13, 2015 - 3:33 am

Thanks for the tip to wrap from the base and then work your way up!

Georgia B
September 14, 2018 - 10:57 am

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