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A Guide to Pallet Packaging Systems

17 Jun 2015

Packaging is an important element in many industries, particularly within the chemical and food and beverage sectors. In these areas, packaging is a crucial element of the manufacturing process and helps to protect the goods in transit and in storage. When goods are loaded on to pallets, there are three methods of packaging the pallet: shrink film, wrapping and stretch hoods. It’s crucial that you choose the most appropriate for your needs in order to provide maximum protection.

When you’re selecting a type of pallet packaging, there is a range of factors you should look at. These include transportation, protecting goods from theft, how the packaged goods will be displayed and whether the goods need protecting from the elements. These should be the main deciding factors when choosing which packaging system to use.

Shrink Film

This form of pallet packaging is shrunk to fit around the pallet, so it perfectly fits the dimensions of the pallet and the goods that are loaded on to it. This makes it particularly suitable for fragile items, such as glass, and those goods that could become damaged by an elastic form of packaging. In order to fit perfectly, the film is heated up before being placed over the pallet. It then creates a secure fit as it cools down. One of the issues with shrink film is that it becomes milky, making it harder to identify the goods or read bar codes.


Wrapping is one of the most popular options for pallet packaging due to the low initial costs to set up the machinery. However, this method does use a large amount of material, which requires the rolls to be changed frequently. The elasticity of the film secures the goods once they’re on the pallet. Wrapping shouldn’t be used for items that have sharp edges, and it doesn’t offer effective protection from theft, as the film can be opened without being ripped. With this type of packaging, the labels and barcodes are easier to read, unless a plastic film overlay is used as additional protection.

Stretch Hoods

With this type of pallet packaging you are getting some of the benefits of both shrink film and wrapping. The hoods fit the pallets and products perfectly, and their elasticity provides excellent stability. Once fitted, the surface is smooth, which provides a good level of visibility to recognise the products and see labels and bar codes. It is also a highly effective method for protecting the goods from environmental damage. The hoods are fully recyclable after use, reducing environmental damage as less film and energy will be used in the manufacturing process.

There are a number of key considerations for companies when they’re choosing the right type of pallet packaging. It’s vital that you think about the actual products rather than focusing on cost or convenience. Each different industry and manufacturing process will have its own requirements, and choosing a form of packaging with the most benefits will protect your goods more effectively.

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