Pallet Wrap. Stretch Film. Plastic Wrap. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s all the same thing right? Big, giant rolls loaded with ‘sticky’ plastic designed to get your pallets safely from point A to point B.
However, most people are shocked to learn how poor film decisions and application can affect 4 key pillars of a business.
One of the biggest oversights creating unnecessary expenses is judging stretch film by the cost per roll. So, you see a roll of film advertised for $45 and smile that you’re only paying $42. This is a common trap in the industry, because not all stretch films are created equally. The following considerations should be made when comparing roll price.
Make sure the stretch film rolls you are comparing have the same meterage and overall roll weight.
Now we know not everyone carries around a micrometer and it is somewhat acceptable to have a +/-10% variation in the stated gauge, however, it is important to know the specifications of what you are buying. For example, a product might be called “Hand Cast Wrap 25”, but not be 25UM. The product is missing a key indicator called UM, otherwise called Micron. This is the stretch film’s official measure of thickness. We suggest always double checking with your supplier as to the exact UM of your film, so that you can measure comparable films like for like.
Cut and weigh folks! Wrap a pallet, cut the stretch film off, bundle it into a tight ball and weigh it. With a few simple sums, you should be able to calculate how many pallets you can wrap with one roll of stretch film per week, per month, and per year. This is the best way to understand stretch film costs and avoid paying extra.
According to a study by Monash University, truck drivers are 13 times more likely to die at work than other Australians, making the heavy vehicle industry one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia. It is for this reason that legislation such as the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) was introduced, and why regulators work to penalise companies that do not comply with safe work practices.
All parties in the supply chain are accountable for unsafe business practices. This is called the Chain of Responsibly (CoR) and aims to ensure breaches in HVNL do not occur and that all hazards and transportation risks are assessed and controlled.
What does this have to do with film? When pallets are wrapped incorrectly, this can cause movement and instability either on the warehouse floor or during transit, which can ultimately lead to injury or worse. Just because a pallet looks stable doesn’t mean it is. See 8 questions to ask yourself to make your load safer, and create a safer working environment for you and your employees.
Ineffective pallet wrapping can create waste in a variety of areas and cause a domino effect of issues that will directly impact the bottom line. The following pain points can be avoided by optimizing your stretch film operation:
The state your goods reach your customers whether B2C or B2B, can have a direct bearing on customer satisfaction and ultimately your brand reputation; one of the hardest areas to fix once damaged.
Imagine going to a premium automotive retailer, picking up an accessory to find that its scratched or packed in a crushed box? Would you pick up the next brand across? Get enough people going through the same process and you can see how this would influence brand reputation and ultimately profits.
Choosing the right stretch film and learning how to effectively wrap your pallets will not only save you money but will lead to stronger and safer pallet load containment.
At Signet, we are not only a manufacturer but an importer of stretch films and pallet wrapping machine solutions. We also specialise in helping businesses calculate and reduce stretch film wastage while improving load stability.