How to make sure you’re using the correct hand pallet wrap
With so many pallet wrap or stretch wrap solutions on the market now, it can be confusing to understand what products would be right for your situation and set up. Adding to this confusion is the impending Plastic Packaging tax and the seemingly expensive consequences of not making a smart decision quickly, as well as the noise and misinformation about recycled pallet wrap. So what’s the best course of action right now that gets you prepared and in a really good, informed place ahead of next April and hopefully saving some money too?
We would say it’s got a lot to do with good research, seeing products being demonstrated, such as Grip Film for example, in your own warehouse and gaining a better understanding of the best way to save on plastic as well as saving money. Sometimes it’s not immediately obvious. Intrigued? Let’s take a closer look.
Machine wrap or hand pallet wrap?
Just because you’re a high volume user of pallet wrap, it doesn’t necessarily mean that machine pallet wrap is the right choice for you. Yes, volume plays a part in it but what’s more important is how you’re set up and how your warehouse is organised. So as a rule of thumb, if your operation is spread over a large area with separate teams picking and building orders ready for despatch, then hand wrapping pallets it probably your best option. But it is always a good idea to take stock of how you’re currently prepping your despatches to see if there is a faster and in turn cheaper way to do this. A trusted packaging supplier who has the experience and an understanding gained through years of visiting clients on-site may just have a different approach on how to best optimise your process. It’s worth asking them to come in and look to make sure you’re getting the very best from your resources.
Ask your packaging supplier for a demonstration
Sometimes it can be hard to imagine in real terms what a simple product swap can deliver and the increased yields that can be made. This could be benefits such as speeding up your palletising, spending less money per pallet wrapped and more significantly with the Plastic Packaging Tax just over a year away, a reduction in the plastic you use. In addition to that, there are also could be some very impressive Health and Safety gains to be had with the right product. Seeing such a product in action in your own warehouse really can help you to understand how your team can use it and allows you to get their buy-in too from an early stage if you want to change products. So ask for your supplier to come in for a demonstration.
We have our own very busy 50,000 square foot warehouse from which we despatch many thousands of pallets. We do use a pallet wrap machine but we also require the flexibility of building orders in separate areas around our warehouse depending on the products and the clients we are preparing orders for. So we did the same, asked for demonstrations from our own suppliers so we could understand more about the latest product developments and see what could work better for us.
How we found the correct hand pallet wrap
To understand how a pallet or stretch wrap can work for you, our clients, and deliver all those advantages means we need to know how to best use these products ourselves. Speeding up the palletising process is obviously important to us to make sure our clients receive their deliveries on time for the least cost. The Grip Film System was demonstrated to us by wrapping like for like pallets in our own warehouse, comparing it to a standard hand pallet wrap. See the video below.
Our 4 Main Findings
The first thing that struck us was the look of the applicator itself. Completely different in appearance from other applicators, it looked impressive and felt good to hold due to its ergonomic design. It was incredibly lightweight, and despite it looking quite different, our warehouse team were keen to try it out!
The speed of application was a real watershed moment, cutting nearly 30 seconds off the time taken to wrap a pallet compared to the standard pallet wrapping method. Imagine that time saving on every pallet you send out! There is quite a lot going on here that speeds this process up. There is the applicator itself that controls the film coming off the roll much more effectively which means the operative can wrap faster. But its design also means the operative can walk forwards around the pallet which again is so much faster, minimising any stooping at the base of the pallet.
So not only is it faster, it becomes so much safer too. No more walking backwards around pallets. No more trips and falls waiting to happen. A massive reduction in RSI and back strain is a huge benefit for the operatives and in turn your business.
Longer roll lengths, a guarantee of being able to use every single meter of the roll and superfast roll changes all contribute to making this a fast, time and money-saving system. And as you can see from the videos, fewer revolutions around the pallet are needed meaning much less plastic is used – and that’s down to the film itself.
A thinner film but greater load stability? How does that work?
It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? The answer to the greater stability lies in how the operative can really maximise the application process with the applicator and the pre-stretched film. The applicator makes it easy for effective necking and roping to really stabilise the load. In the video below, you can see the comparative film stretch test which shows the incredible strength obtained through pre-stretching the film before it goes on the roll. The typical micron thickness of a standard stretch hand pallet wrap is around 20 microns. Grip Film Superior and Premium films are just 6 and 9 microns respectively. And as we go to press, we have learned of another hand pallet wrap in the Grip Film portfolio, the Elite – which comes in at just 5 microns!
And The Grip Film advantage doesn’t stop there!
With the thinner film being used and less plastic use overall, this can only help you as we move towards the Plastic Packaging Tax. This ‘green tax’ is to dissuade the continued use of virgin plastic and to encourage the use of recycled plastic. Unfortunately, hand pallet wrap with recycled content does not exist and tentative production of this so far has seen the film produced much, much thicker so the user would end up using so much more plastic. It defeats the whole object. Using less, even if it is virgin plastic, is no doubt the better way to go. This will help you to reduce the impact of the tax as well as your impact on the environment. Looks like a win-win to us!
We’re really keen to pass on all our learnings from the Grip Film product demonstrations in our own warehouse to you. So if you like the sound of using less plastic, speeding up your palletising and spending less on every pallet you wrap – we’d love to show you in your own warehouse! Drop us a message in the form below.