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  • Writer's pictureMMP Corporation

Securing Cargo for Shipping with Stretch Wrap

Updated: Feb 28

Heavy-duty pallet wrap properly applied

With shipping costs and insurance costs for damaged merchandise continuing to rise, companies have realized that it pays to be proactive and develop beneficial shipping practices that speed up the shipping, condense and tighten loads as much as possible, and protect the cargo from damage.

Heavy-duty stretch wrap is a valuable tool in the shipping industry. Heavyweight pallet protection film continues to be improved to offer better protection, tighter loads, and faster pallet wrapping. We’ll tell you how you can use heavy-duty pallet wrap to ensure your products arrive at their destination in the same condition they left your warehouse.

The Physics of Stretch Wrap and Containment Force

Before delving into the specifics of plastic wrap for shipping, it's essential to understand the physics behind it. Stretch wrap works by providing what is known as "containment force." This force results from the elasticity of the wrap, allowing it to stretch and conform tightly around the products on the pallet. The containment force of securing cargo with stretch wrap effectively immobilizes the load, preventing shifting, toppling, or damage during transport.

Containment force guidelines are crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of the stretch wrap. As a rule of thumb, the wrap should be applied with the correct tension to create enough containment force but not so tight that it damages the products. This balance is essential for securing cargo.

Stretch wrapping has become a worldwide shipping standard due to its ease, speed in application, and reliability in securing and protecting palletized loads.

Loading Pallets Correctly

To harness the full potential of stretch wrap, it's crucial to stack products on the pallet correctly. Start by placing the heaviest items at the bottom, distributing weight evenly. This not only stabilizes the load but also ensures the products remain intact during transportation by reducing top-heavy pallets.

Measure the dimensions of the boxes and figure out how many can fit on one row of a standard-sized pallet with no gaps between the boxes. The more tightly the boxes are loaded on the pallet, the tighter the external plastic wrap for shipping will remain once wrapped. Use this configuration as the standard packing pattern for these products and alternate the direction of the configuration on every row to achieve a brickwork-type pattern. This brickwork pattern will help increase the stability of tall loads.

For irregularly shaped items, consider interlocking them to create a more stable base. Use pallet dividers or corner posts to add structural support and prevent compression of lower layers. Additionally, distribute the weight evenly across the entire pallet to avoid imbalances.

Pallet-wrapping Methods

Machine pallet wrapping speeds up the process

There are three primary methods for wrapping pallets, each catering to different operational needs:

  • Manual Stretch Wrapping: This method involves an operator manually wrapping the stretch film around the pallet. While it offers flexibility and control, it may be less efficient for large-scale operations.

  • Semi-automatic Wrapping: In this method, a machine assists the operator in wrapping the pallet. It offers a balance between manual and automatic wrapping, providing efficiency while retaining some level of control.

  • Automatic High-speed Wrapping: This fully automated process utilizes machinery to wrap pallets quickly and consistently. Ideal for high-volume operations, it ensures uniform wrapping, minimizing the risk of human error.

MMP’s Stretch Wrap Products

MMP offers a range of heavy-duty pallet wrap products designed for various applications. Under the category of Machine Roll Stretch Film, we offer five excellent products:

General Purpose (GP): Suitable for a wide range of applications, providing basic protection and stability.

  • High Performance (HP): Offers enhanced strength and stretch characteristics, ideal for heavier or irregularly shaped loads.

  • Premium Performance (PP): Designed for maximum load stability and protection, especially in challenging transportation conditions.

  • High Toughness (HT): Provides exceptional puncture resistance, making it suitable for loads with sharp edges or corners.

  • Thaitanium Film: Our newest addition to the line, our Thaitanium film, is known for its advanced properties, including high tensile strength and durability. Discover more about the unique features and benefits of this innovative product on our YouTube channel.

Under the category of Hand Roll Stretch Film, we offer three products:

  • Coreless Stretch Film: Convenient and easy to use without the need for a cardboard core.

  • Pre-stretch Film: Offers enhanced useability, reducing the amount of film needed while maintaining load stability.

  • Folded Edge Stretch Film: Features folded edges for easy and secure application by hand.

Beyond stretch wrap, MMP provides an alternative shipping solution in the form of stretch hoods. These are large, pre-formed hoods that stretch over the load, offering comprehensive protection.

Improve Your Shipping Operations with MMP

In conclusion, achieving a secure and stable palletized load involves a combination of proper stacking techniques and the right heavy-duty pallet wrap. MMP's range of stretch wrap products, including machine roll and hand roll options, caters to diverse shipping needs. Whether you opt for manual, semi-automatic, or automatic wrapping, the key is to prioritize containment force and load stability.

For increased speed, efficiency, and overall safety of your products during transportation, consider using M Stretch Wrap. Make a conscious choice to enhance your operations and protect your cargo with reliable and trusted solutions from MMP.

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