Tips To Save Cost Of Wrapping Stretch Film

Product Securing & Damage Prevention / 16 Apr 2020

Stretch Wrapping Film, also known as Plastic Wrap, is an elastic and highly stretchable plastic film that is used to wrap around goods. It is also this elastic recovery that keeps products tightly bound and protected. One of its primary functionality is to bound the products (whether stacked or single large product) with the pallet. 

As the demand for higher throughput and delivery needs rises, this raises the concern about how safe the packing and cost-efficient you are wrapping your palletized good. Improper packaging not only causes damaged products but also extremely high-resolution cost and irreparable customer trust and experience.

A typical process flow of customer’s frustration on damaged goods due to improper packaging. Image by Rapidpackaging.

Of course, a Stretch Film has multiple more functions up to its sleeve when it is used with a pallet:-

  • Increased handling and storage efficiency of unit loads
  • Improving the stability of products or packages to form unit loads
  • Reduce the risks of package pilferage and tampering
  • Moisture and dust protection
Common Types of Stretch Film

Manual stretch film or commonly known as Hand-roll, is considered any stretch film and it usually weighs lesser than 2kg that it is meant to be easily applied by hand. On the contrary, Machine roll stretch film requires a specific Stretch Wrapping Machine to complete the job, with minimum workforce involved and helps reduce waste and increase efficiency. Machine stretch film will also help all loads to be consistently wrapped with the same tension and force. This helps to improve load security. 

How To Calculate Stretch Film Length


Find out the net film weight.

Gross Weight – Core weight = Net film weight


Determine the film length

Net Film Weight ÷ Film Width ÷ film thickness ÷ 0.912 (Density g/cm3)

How To Save Stretch Wrapping Film Cost?

Companies wrapping tens to hundreds of pallets per day can often spend a small fortune on stretch wrap throughout the year. Most of the time, companies save costs in this area by 2 most common method

1. Downgauging Stretch Film

What is downgauging? To downgauge a film means to make the film thinner.

  1. Environmentally and/or;
  2. Financially

Environmentally, less material is used in the process, and this can help a lot of companies meet their goals to reduce the amount of packaging material they use.

Financially, downgauging 5% leads to a 5% reduction in material cost (Theoretically speaking, but sometimes the percentage may vary depending on the level of downgauging technology applied to the film).

By downgauging, companies can save a tremendous amount of money per pallet. The chart below is the result of the cost per wrapped pallet by the different thicknesses of the stretch film.

Film ThicknessFilm Gross Weight per rollNet Film Weight per rollNo of Pallets Can be WrapPrice per roll
Cost Per Wrapped Pallet
23 Mic11kg10kg15.5$30.00$1.9355
17 Mic11kg10kg21$30.20$1.4381
12 Mic 11kg 10kg 30$32.20$1.0733

**All prices for reference only

The lowest cost per wrapped pallet is the 12mic stretch film.

2. Pre-stretch-able Film

Using Pre-stretch-able wrapping film can save money because of its high stability and intense physical energy.

This type of film allows the stretching to reach near its breaking point and, by doing so, creates a substantial amount of additional lengths to the usable film in the process. This pre-stretching process is not possible by a human and can only be done with a specific type of wrapping machine.

Common pre-stretch percentages range from 150-300% (Which are typically determined by a set of gears in a wrapper pre-stretch carriage).

That means that every meter of the film coming off a roll represents 2.5 to 4 meters of the film on the load.

There are definitely more ways to introduce savings into the packaging operation and these are just some standard methods that can be implemented right away to your company.

Typically, a company that wraps a significant amount of pallets a day is much more worth to move into machinery wrapping as it will not only saves on the film usage with pre-stretching it but also on the labor usage.

If you are still unsure if your company fits into the downgauging or machine wrapping category (sometimes both can be done together, it is not an exclusive method), give us a call or drop us an email. Our packaging experts will guide you through our complete range of packaging solutions.

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