In the shipping industry, one of the major revelations happened in the 1970s, when it was decided that making one pallet load out of a lot of smaller loads, not only dramatically increased productivity but also reduced the incidences of load damage during transit. After this realisation, it quickly became the norm to stretch wrap items on pallets – and we all know that machines are better at tasks like this than humans are! A manual pallet wrapper, for example, will not only save you time but money as well.

Originally, when pallet wrapping came into existence, it was accomplished with the use of an oven which heated up a large piece of film, placed it over the load, and then the heat shrunk the film to fit exactly over the load. The problem with this is that it used a lot of energy, and in the late 1970s the price of energy shot up and so the cost of wrapping items like this became disproportionate. This led to many manufacturers looking for different ways to accomplish the same end result, without the use of so much energy.

This is where stretch wrapping comes into play. Not only did it eliminate the high energy costs associated with hood wrapping, but it also did away with the quality issues that came along with hand-wrapping the goods as well.

The biggest problem associated with hand wrapping goods is the lack of consistency between employees who are undertaking the task – in a similar way to those who case seal as well. I mean there are probably people out there who are able to wrap pallets well time after time, but they are probably few and far between.  Another challenging aspect of hand wrapping is actually securing the load to the pallet. If the loads are not secured well, then you run the risk of them sliding off the pallet mid-journey, hitting another load and damaging either the primary or secondary packaging – or both and the product inside.

The other thing to think about when hand sealing pallet loads are how difficult it is for people to bend over and wrap the pallet all the way to the bottom, over and over again. The problem with wrapping a load so that the bottom of the load is covered as well is that this causes issues for forklift trucks when they try to pick the pallet up. The forks will puncture the film, leaving the area vulnerable, and these can even cause the load to spread sometimes. Stretch wrappers, on the other hand, can wrap the pallet and leave an inch above the bottom of the pallet which is secured with a tight film cable. This means that not only is the load secure, but the forklift truck can pick up the pallet easily without puncturing the film.

Wrapping pallets by hand are also uneconomical from a wastage point of view. If using an employee to hand wrap each load, you will probably find you use 300% more stretch wrap than if you invested in a stretch wrapping machine. Not only will there be less wastage with a machine, but they can also pull the wrap much tighter than a person wrapping it by hand.

Let’s have a closer look at the benefits a stretch wrapper can bring to your business:

Lower Material Costs

As we have said above, most stretch wrappers have a powered delivery system that pre-stretches the wrap, thereby increasing the amount of wrap you can get off each roll. Some levels of pre-stretch are so high that you can get around 300% more from a roll than you would normally. This would turn a 6,000 ft roll into a roll which can wrap 18000ft. That will have a massive effect on your bottom line if you are having to buy less film.

Optimum use of Labour

If you have to wrap five loads per day or more, than doing this manually is just not cost effective and you would be far better off with a machine. The reduced risk of injury is worth it alone, never mind the amount of energy and time you will save.

Reduced Risk of Shipping Damages

Shipping damage can be a large source of wastage and cost for manufacturers, and research has shown that up to 2% of the damage that is caused during transit is down to pallets not being wrapped properly. This is not only an issue because of damage to the products, but also the cost of labour to clear up the mess and also potential additional manufacturing time if you have to remake the products and resend them.

If you want to find out more about any of our products, including our case sealer, then please call our experienced team today as they will be happy to help.  You can contact us by phone on 01924 483 000 or by email at

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