How to Choose the Right Stretch Film


Type A Loads Uniform in shape. The load size closely matches the pallet size. These are the easiest loads to wrap. Few film puncture points exist. This type of load is often seen at manufacturing locations where the same product is prepared for shipment load-after-load.

Type B Loads Less uniform than type “A” loads. The stacking pattern may be irregular and/or the load size may not match the pallet size. Several film puncture points exist (more film selection judgment is required). Choosing the correct film type is critical, especially at high levels of film stretch and/or high film application tension. Type “B” loads appear at smaller manufacturing locations and distribution warehouse locations. Each pallet contains two or three products destined for a single destination.

Type C Loads No two loads are the same. Their size and shape range are typically all different. Sharp points seem to be everywhere and/or there is a major difference between the load and the pallet size. Film selection is critical. Type “C” loads are assembled at the distribution centers that supply retail store locations (i.e. grocery, drug, pet supply, automotive). Each load may contain dozens of different products.


Stretch film should generally be used when the loads vary in configuration. Fully automatic high-speed stretch wrappers equipped with pre-stretch usually require a premium grade of stretch film. Economy stretch films can be used for low stretch on conventional equipment. A mid-range stretch film is needed for pre-stretch equipment operating at moderate levels.


The weight of the pallet load and type of product being wrapped must be considered when selecting film type, gauge and number of wraps.


Some end users have needs for special requirements such as one-sided slip or UVI protection. A one-side slip may be used for bundling or on a pallet load that may shift in transit. Products that are stored outside for long periods of time may require a UVI (Ultra-Violet Inhibitor) film.


The distance and method of shipment are important considerations. Long-distance travel requires a high-performance film for increased load security.