The miracle of stretch wrap and how to avoid common pallet wrapping mistakes

There are lots of ideas on how to wrap a pallet. But there is only one right way and it’s all about physics. And plenty of stretch wrap.

Every day of every year, millions of pallets are in motion. Whether in warehouses, trucks, trains, or ships, goods are being transported sitting atop wood or plastic in the form of a pallet. However, the pallet has a rarely spoken about ally: the stretch wrap. Although is highly important, yet its presence is barely acknowledged. The stretch wrap is there to secure the loads, keep them from shifting, and protect them. Failure to wrap the pallet properly could lead to damage, loss of the load, or even major harm, as shifting cargo is one of the top causes of truck accidents. Here are some common mistakes in wrapping and how to avoid them.

  • Type and size of stretch wrap. The wrong type of film will result in wasted material, but it could also cause safety issues and damage.
  • Take the coefficient of friction between boxes into account, as well as between boxes and pallet top. If necessary, use anti-skid mats at the bottom and between box layers.
  • Proper wrapping requires a 20-25% overlap of the wrapping film between passes.
  • Attach the film to the pallet base and make sure the pallet itself is wrapped entirely.
  • Do not use frayed or torn film rolls. Damaged wrap tears easily and does not provide the full nominal strength.
  • Choose the correct pallet size. Make sure the pallet is large enough to secure your cargo without overhang.
  • Stack your cargo properly. Put the heaviest boxes at the bottom and distribute the weight evenly. Do not use the “pyramid stacking” method; what you should be after is an aligned column pattern and a flat top.

Finally, invest in a pallet wrapping machine. It will save you time and money, reduce strain from manual wrapping as well as wasted film. Also, a machine with pre-stretch capability will vastly increase the strength of the wrapping, improving load stability, and provide substantial material savings.

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