When shipping, people usually focus on the container to use, be it pallet or crate. Although the shipping container is important to protect a product’s integrity, there are also various other packaging materials to think of. Two of them are the shipping plastic wrap and the shrink wrap.

A shipping plastic wrap, or stretch wrap as it’s commonly called, is a clear, elastic plastic film that is used to secure products for transportation, especially when they’re loaded on pallets. It is wrapped tightly around an item multiple times to stabilize it and prevent movement during shipping or storage. Because it’s highly elastic, it provides enough tension to make it an excellent protective material.

People usually confuse the plastic shipping wrap with shrink wrap, but the two are different. Shrink wrap is also made of clear plastic but it doesn’t contain a stretchy property. It is usually cut around an item via a shrink wrap bar or sealer instead of being wrapped multiple times. A heat source such as a heat gun, heat tunnel, or heat oven is then used to shrink it.

Unlike the plastic shipping wrap which needs to be applied tightly, a shrink wrap works by being secured loosely before it is exposed to high heat to make it shrink and tighten around an object. 

Should you go for a shipping plastic wrap or a shrink wrap?

It depends on the use that you will put them to because the two have completely different applications. 

  1. Shipping plastic wrap or stretch wrap

A stretch wrap is commonly used to wrap loads of pallets for transport. It’s excellent at protecting multiple items together for better stability. 

There are also specialty stretch wraps available which serve a broad range of use:

  • UV –  prevents items from being exposed to the sun’s rays
  • Anti-static – has anti-static agents that keep flammable and electronic products safe from static discharge
  • Vented – allows condensation to escape to prevent moisture build-up
  • Colored – helps pallets stand out or be easily identified
  1. Shrink wrap

On the other hand, a shrink wrap protects single products.  It is considered better for professionally packaging retail items ranging from small objects like CDs to big ones like boats and outdoor furniture. Not only does the shrink wrap method protect the product inside, it is also a good way to ensure no dirt or dust gets in.

Once treated, a shrink wrap becomes resistant to tears, making it ideal for protecting food and beverages. 

Not sure what to use when shipping your product? We are. 

Anderson Pallet And Crate has over 30 years of shipping experience. We’ll help you find the right packaging materials for you and your business. Give us a call at (303) 660-0084 for a consultation or drop us a message for more information.