Why cheaper pallet wrap could be costing you more

You’ve found a great deal on pallet wrap which costs less per roll and kilogram than your current wrap, so you make the switch and wait for the savings to mount up. Unfortunately, if cost per roll/kg is the only factor you’re taking into account when choosing pallet wrap, those savings may never materialise.

Using the right film for the right application is key to getting best value from your pallet wrap, not defaulting to the cheapest option. Just small shortfalls in the products bought often compound into significant costs over a relatively short period of time.

To drive long-term savings you need to take a holistic view of your operations and identify where efficiencies can be made. There are common mistakes we regularly come across, but which are easily fixed and can improve performance as well as save money.

One of the main errors is choosing stretch wrap without considering the machinery it will be used with, or the products it will wrap. Since all products behave differently in transit there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so when buying pallet wrap, ensure it’s the right film for the job and that it will work effectively with your machinery.

Machine maintenance and set-up are also important. Poorly maintained or wrongly set-up pallet wrapping machines may cause the wrap to snap, which can prompt businesses to increase the strength of the wrap by specifying a more expensive product. But this only treats the ‘symptom’ and adds unnecessary cost.

Pallet wrap snapping, refilling hoppers with packaging products, and products falling off unstable pallets also contribute to costly hours of downtime, and can be significantly reduced by using the correct solutions.

Another common issue is using more wrap than is needed to ensure stability. This is the kind of inefficiency that leads to long-term price creep, but that can be addressed if pallets are stacked optimally. This requires a careful balancing act: maximising the amount of product per pallet with minimum quantities of wrapping and without compromising stability.

Done successfully, you can reduce the cost to transport, the amount of transit packaging required and the risk of damaging goods, but it can be difficult to know where the balance is.

This is where pallet stability testing is critical. Testing is not only a key tool for optimisation, but is an important tool to reduce product damage and ultimately use the best film possible for your operation, whilst using the minimum amount of plastics.

We can bring the test to you with our Mobile Pallet Stability Test Lab, which provides on-site real-time pallet stability testing. The unit can be driven to your factory or warehouse to test stacked pallets there and then. It also tests four times quicker than traditional off-site methods.

This type of testing can help you make savings which may seem small, but can make a significant difference. An improvement of just 0.3% every day, can result in an upturn of 100%+ within a year.

Studies with our partners show transit packaging improvements can achieve a:

  • 31% reduction in production downtime
  • 27% cost saving on transit packaging
  • 53% decrease in packaging waste

Choosing the right pallet wrap and materials is a balance of performance and cost in use. There are also subtle product dynamics that can influence the decision and these must also be fully understood. At Lindum we can help you evaluate how much stretch film you are using and if you’re using it correctly. It may be that opting for a more expensive wrap now will prove more cost effective down the line.

Don’t make the mistake of becoming fixated on the cost of materials. Comparing the cost of a roll of wrap and choosing the cheapest may seem like an obvious way to reduce costs, but in reality it is more likely to create downtime and necessitate more packaging to do the job.

If you want to discuss if you are using the best pallet wrap for your operations, call us today on 01469 574480 or email Rick Sellars at rick@lindumpackaging.com.

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