How to Stretch Wrap Pallets
Learning how to stretch wrap pallets is crucial for the success of your packaging and shipping strategy. Stretch wrapping is a technique that’s used throughout the industry to secure items on a pallet and prepare them for transit. Companies who ship large quantities of products in boxes can use stretch wrapping to unitize items and make them easier to work with. The process of stretch wrapping pallets might seem simple, but there are a few important things to remember when implementing this strategy into your packaging system.
Understanding Pallet Load Profiles
The first thing to consider is the profile of your load. There are three main profiles you should be familiar with, which are A-Load, B-Load, and C-Load. A-loads are normally cubed with no protrusions. This load has clean edges and are the easiest to wrap. B-loads may have a few protrusions that create irregular sides. This type of pallet profile will require a better performance film with high puncture resistance. C-loads are the most hazardous type of load. They may have many corners and sharp edges that are particularity difficult to wrap. They will require a strong, durable stretch film with high puncture and tear resistance.
Picking the Right Pallet Size
When it comes to unitizing items, the pallet is your foundation. It’s critical that you select the right size pallet for your items to create a solid base. You don’t want items hanging over the edges of the pallet, but on the other hand, you also don’t want too much space left uncovered on the top of the pallet. If there is an overhang on your pallet, products have a higher risk for damage during transit. When the products don’t cover enough of the pallet, the stretch wrap may tear on the sharp corners and edges of the pallet.
Assembling Your Items on the Pallet
When placing items onto the pallet, you want to compact them as tightly as possible. This prevents movement after they are wrapped and it’s the best way to optimize space on the pallet. The tighter your items are packed, the more secure your pallet will be during transport. This is simpler with A-Load profiles but can be difficult to do with a C-Load profile. Make sure you’re compacting items as best you can to create a sturdy pallet.
Attaching Stretch Wrap to the Pallet
The first decision you need to make is how you’re going to apply the stretch wrap to your pallets. Will this process be done by manual tools or will you purchase an automatic or semi-automatic machine to do the job? Once you’ve decided how to apply your stretch wrap, you select the proper thickness and width you need. To begin attaching the stretch wrap to your pallet, there needs to be some type of anchor point. Many companies choose to tie the film around the corner of the pallet to secure it first.
When wrapping your pallet, you always start at the base. Wrap tightly and in multiple layers to create a firm hold. As you wrap the pallet, work your way up slowly until you reach the top. Once you’ve reached the top, you can test the sturdiness of the wrapped pallet and decide if you need to continue working the stretch wrap film back down the structure. When you’re satisfied with the results, tear the stretch film and tuck the edge under one of the pallet’s edges securely.
Now you know how to stretch wrap pallets and unitize items for your shipments. This article is just one of many that can introduce you to packaging knowledge and insight from industry professionals. Check out some of our other articles related to stretch wrap and working with pallets.