What are the Different Types of Pallet Wrap?

Klaus Strasser

Pallet wrap is commonly used to fasten and hold goods on a pallet in warehouses or other places of business. It functions according to what some experts call film memory. This means that when a wrap is stretched and placed around items, the film tries to return to its original form. At the same time, when the wrap is stretched, the tensile strength of the film also increases. This enables the goods to remain more securely in place on the pallet.

Pallets are often shrink-wrapped to prevent objects from falling out during shipment.
Pallets are often shrink-wrapped to prevent objects from falling out during shipment.

The application of pallet wrap can assist in the transportation process, helping ensure that materials on the pallet will not fall over or be knocked down in a warehouse setting. It can be applied manually, by workers, or by the use of specialized wrapping machines. Many types of pallet wrap are available, such as stretch film pallet wrap, polyethylene plastic pallet wrap, perforated pallet wrap, and pre-stretched pallet wrap.

Pallet wrap can be helpful in a warehouse setting.
Pallet wrap can be helpful in a warehouse setting.

Polyethylene plastic is the most traditional form of pallet wrap used in the workplace. Some of its advantages are the tightness and high tension of the film. Since polyethylene plastic wrap is transparent, it can be invaluable in locating and identifying goods on pallets. It may also protect goods from dust or from being damaged. Many times, workers can write on the transparent wrap to mark products or make other important notes.

Perforated pallet wraps are distinguished by the holes they have on their surface. This type of film is intended for products that have some special needs, such as cooling, freezing, or breathing. Goods that may be more efficiently transported using this type of perforated wrap include beverages, plants, ice cream, cheese, and vegetables. The use of this film can help reduce the chance of any bacterial infections or the growth of fungus in products. For example, naturally-occurring gases from vegetable products can be released through the holes in the perforated wrap, helping them remain fresh for a longer time.

Pre-stretched wrap is a type of film that is stretched before its application by workers. This means that the worker can apply it around a packed pallet simply by walking around it. Pre-stretched wrap can have various practical advantages, such as increased film strength, a reduction of the amount of wrap needed, and creating a more unified pallet. Many of these pre-stretched types are designed to achieve optimal stretching conditions, which allows them to perform better and be more efficient.

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