Ever since hand stretch film was first introduced to the manufacturing and shipping world in 1973, the benefits of using the film have proven to be substantial and extend far beyond providing the load stability and unitization it was first designed for. We’ll take a look at some of the other benefits that this simple but effective product offers. We’ll also underline the value it delivers by being inexpensive, fast, and easy to use.
Manufacturers and shipping companies sat up and took notice when hand stretch film was first introduced. With the nearly universal change to shipping goods on pallets, the technique of loading and securing the pallets for transportation was still being worked out. This product provided an elegant solution to many outstanding problems.
Greater Efficiency During Transport
The overriding problem was that pallet loads had to be stacked low to ensure stability during transport. This meant that the space above the pallet was wasted, trucks and rail cars were not being utilized efficiently, and the wasted space added to transportation costs. Wrapping the loaded pallets tightly with stretch film allowed pallet loads to be stacked much higher and for this previously wasted space to be used.
It was discovered that the tightly wrapped pallets were also often able to support additional loads placed on top of them. Double-stacked loads became a viable option for making the most of the available space.
The film also provided an extra level of safety. The compact and tightly wrapped loads were also much less likely to shift during transport, which provided an extra level of stability to the vehicle. By accurately balancing a truck's load and ensuring it would stay in place, shippers were able to lower the chances of trucks having road accidents caused by shifting loads.
Shipments transported by rail were also more likely to arrive intact, and this extra level of stability speeded up the overall transportation process.
Improved Product Handling
When manufacturers and shippers began using the new stretch film, they began to see opportunities to streamline their work processes and speed up their operations. Their product handling was improved because they didn't have to constantly re-pack or re-load pallets that had become loose during movement.
The functionality of fork-lifts and pallet jacks was speeded up in warehouses and loading docks because the workers could trust the integrity and stability of the pallet loads they were moving from place to place.
While shippers saw all the benefits that stretch film provided to their operations, manufacturers were impressed by the loss-prevention benefits it promised to their products.
Shipping losses are accounted for in the shelf price of every product you buy. In fragile or perishable products, the percentage added to the cost may be high, and in durable, shelf-stable products, it can be low. But every manufacturer sees this cost as a nuisance that exists only as a necessary safeguard in a less than efficient shipping operation.
Manufacturers saw stretch film as being one step closer to having an efficient shipping process. They started using it in their warehouses and insisted that shippers use it when transporting their products.
There are two main causes of shipping losses; breakage and pilferage. Breakage can never be completely eliminated. Accidents happen. We may be at the dawn of the robotics age, where automation could play a major part in the shipping industry, but we’re not there yet. Humans still operate fork-lifts and pallet jacks, and drive the trucks. Using stretch film on the loads they handle has been proven to reduce breakages. Losses are reduced largely because of the same benefits stretch film offers to shippers. By simply tightening and providing more stability to a load, you reduce the chances of breakage.
Pilferage is another loss in shipping that's reduced by using hand stretch film. Pilferage is generally a crime of opportunity rather than planning. It could be a hot and overworked warehouse worker helping themselves to a can of soda from a pallet-load. Or a driver taking a box of candy home with them. But when many people help themselves, the losses can add up.
Simply wrapping a pallet tightly with stretch film can be an effective barrier against pilferage. Besides being a deterrent to the actual crime, an unwrapped pallet can alert managers to the fact that a theft has occurred.
Asia’s Leading Stretch Film Provider
MMP Corporation Ltd. is the leading provider of high-quality stretch film in Asia. We provide M Stretch, a film that comes in multi-layer configurations and provides different functionalities for product protection and load stability, and provides an overall cost-effective solution.
With stretch film proving to be a vital product for the manufacturing and shipping industry, contact MMP Corporation to ensure you always have a supply of stretch film to hand.