4 Strategies for Reducing Stretch Wrap Costs

4 Strategies for Reducing Stretch Wrap Costs

Even with resin costs on the rise, there are still opportunities to reduce stretch wrap costs. Here are some strategies to combat cost increases and improve wrapping efficiency.

Buy in Bulk

A simple and seemingly obvious way to save on stretch wrap costs is to buy in bulk. With costs continually rising, finding a supplier that offers volume discounts with reduced freight charges can offset these increases. If you're low on free space to stock bulk packaging materials, inquire about a vendor managed inventory program to have off-site inventory delivered as needed.

Upgrade or Optimize Your Stretch Wrappers

Wrap it and go can be a costly mistake, but is often the mantra of many warehouses hurrying to get products out the door. If you’re currently hand wrapping at least 10 pallets per day, you could save money by investing in a stretch wrapper.

If your stretch wrapper is operating below efficiency levels, there could be significant film waste occurring. Making sure your stretch wrapper is properly configured and maximizing film usage will reduce film costs and damages. If you have an older machine it may be time to consider an upgrade.

Downgauge the Right Way

Downgauging stretch wrap has been a common way to reduce costs by using a thinner film. A lesser gauge can often lead to less cost and less waste, but it’s important to note that the benefits of downgauging only continue when consistent wrap patterns, optimal pre-stretch properties, and stretch wrapper maintenance are maintained. If the right resources aren’t dedicated, performance can degrade over time.

For a downgauging success story, read this stretch wrap optimization case study.

Focus on Cost Per Load, Not Cost Per Roll

Many buyers look to reduce costs by searching for the lowest cost per roll, which usually results in purchasing a higher quantity of a less expensive film. This can lead to large amounts of money and material wasted.

Due to the variety of blends, gauges, and types of stretch films available today, cost per load is the preferred measurement to look at when comparing costs. To calculate cost per load, follow the calculation example below.

Stretch wrap cost per load calculation

For an example, we’ll use a 20” x 5,000’ 80 gauge machine stretch wrap roll that costs $74.42 per roll.

1. Roll Weight = Roll Width x Roll Length x 12 (inches/foot) x Roll Mil / 30,000

20 x 5,000 x 12 x .80 / 30,000 = 32 pounds per roll

2. Cost Per Pound = Roll Cost / Roll Weight

74.42 / 32 = $2.33 per pound

3. Cost per load = Load’s Film Weight x Cost Per Pound

You’ll need to find the actual weight of the stretch film used to wrap a load. For this example we will say the weight is 4.8 ounces (.3 pounds).

.3 x 2.33 = $.699

To find the optimal stretch wrap option in our packaging lab, we take into consideration additional factors such as application costs and load containment benchmarks to make the best recommendation. The basic goal is to find the smallest total amount of film that properly secures a load during transportation.

Final Thoughts

Optimized equipment paired with the right film will reduce your material usage and give you a stronger, more protected pallet. Our packaging lab can provide you the data you need to reduce your film cost per pallet. Together our engineers and equipment specialists will assess your current stretch wrap usage and wrapping processes, then give you recommendations that will help you package with less material, cost, and time.

Contact us to talk with an expert about stretch wrapping solutions.