A forklift truck transporting wrapped pallets in the Pallet-Track hub

How to Wrap a Pallet Correctly

We’ve handled more than 43 million pallets at Pallet-Track, so we know exactly what a correctly wrapped pallet looks like.

Before your pallet can be collected and transported to its destination, it is essential that it is securely wrapped.

Find all the advice you need below on how to prepare, secure and stretch wrap your pallet correctly prior to its journey through our pallet network.

For tips on loading a pallet before wrapping, read our guide to learn how to stack boxes or goods on a pallet, or get a quote to send a pallet through our network.

If you are looking to transport an oversized pallet, contact our team for more information.

Why do pallets need to be wrapped?

  1. Correctly wrapping a pallet prevents the movement of goods during handling and transit.
  2. Any movement can cause instability, potentially damaging part or all of the consignment, and increases the risk of the pallet falling over.
  3. The safety of our customers, drivers and staff is our number one priority, so every pallet must be correctly wrapped prior to its collection.
  4. To help minimise transit delays and to ensure your goods arrive at their destination on time and in full it is essential that pallets are properly prepared and wrapped.

What is pallet wrap?

Stretch wrap is either made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) or biodegradable alternatives and is available in a variety of thicknesses and stretch rates.

Pallet wrap – also known as stretch film, shrink wrap or stretch wrap – is waterproof and highly stretchable.

This makes it a durable wrap that can be easily stretched around goods on a pallet to protect their contents, reduce movement and secure the goods to the pallet.

When used correctly, it will ensure that the goods within your consignment are safely contained, secured to the pallet and protected from rain, dust or dirt.

Health and safety for shrink wrapping pallets

Before stretch wrapping your pallet, make sure the area is safe by completing a dynamic risk assessment. Use an automatic wrapping machine if available.

How to check your pallet:

  • Are there any broken goods or is any packaging damaged?
  • Are goods correctly and safely stacked on the pallet? Read our guidance on how to stack boxes on a pallet safely for advice on preparing your goods
  • Are goods stable on the pallet and unlikely to move during the wrapping process?
  • Is anything overhanging the edges of the pallet?

Be aware of manual handling risks:

  • Using an ergonomic dispenser is recommended to reduce bending, crouching and risk of discomfort or potential back injury
  • Avoid bending and twisting the spine when wrapping
  • When wrapping multiple pallets by hand, take a break between pallets or share the task between team members

How to shrink wrap a pallet by hand

The safe transportation of pallets is essential to our pallet network. To help keep our drivers and colleagues safe, we ask all our customers to following our guidelines when preparing and wrapping pallets.

Stacked pallets featuring the phrase "goods are well secured" with a pallet of wrapped goods on top. A pallet of wrapped fragile goods with a sign indicating "load is well wrapped fragile goods" A pallet of evenly stacked goods that are well wrapped

A pallet of poorly wrapped goods with holes in the wrapping Inadequate pallet wrapping leaves the top of the load exposed Pallet of poorly wrapped goods with boxes overhanging edges of the pallet

If you are shrink wrapping your pallet by hand, here are our top tips for safe and secure wrapping:

Before you start wrapping:

  1. Ensure you have enough room to move around the pallet and that the area is clear of any trip hazards
  2. Ensure that the pallet is in good condition and is suitable for the weight and type of product you are stacking
  3. Goods should be evenly stacked and securely fixed to the pallet
  4. Ensure your goods do not exceed our size and weight limits. Check our pallet sizes and dimensions guide before wrapping your pallet
  5. Goods should not overhang the pallet

Securing your pallet wrap:

  1. Attach the shrink wrap to the pallet by twisting approximately half a metre into a rope
  2. Thread the twisted wrap through the corner of the pallet and knot it to the pallet
  3. Wrap the base of the pallet several times to ensure goods are secure

Start wrapping your pallet:

  1. Start from the base – the wrap should partially overlap the pallet to secure the goods to it
  2. Hold the stretch wrap parallel to the goods and walk around the pallet
  3. Move backwards, pulling the wrap tightly against the edge/corner of the goods
  4. Wrap upwards and overlap each layer as you wrap – we recommend an overlap of over 50 per cent
  5. Keep the film taut and wrap tightly - the stretch wrap should not loosen when the pallet is handled
  6. Wrap the pallet four or five times, ensuring products cannot move
  7. The wrap should fully cover the top of the load
  8. Tear the stretch wrap and stick down – we recommend tucking the end into one of the seams to prevent it getting caught

After wrapping:

  1. Complete a visual assessment to ensure goods are secure and stable – if the consignment is fully secure then your pallet is ready for collection

 

Find out how to label your pallets for shipping. View our other guides to find out more about kerbside delivery and how our pallet tracking technology gives you full visibility of your goods from end to end.