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What are the advantages of shrink wrapping?

Advantages of Shrink Wrapping

The advantages of heat shrink wrapping a new product or bundle of products can be numerous; in this post, we will discuss some of those benefits companies have found over the years. It is essential to note shrink wrapping is a general term that can refer to many different products. When they hear the term shrink wrapping, many think of stretch wrap for wrapping pallets. For this post, we are discussing heat shrink wrapping, specifically for e-commerce or retail products.

Before listing the advantages, let’s begin with why anyone would consider heat shrink wrapping. New and existing companies, large and small, look to heat shrink wrapping for sealing and packaging consumable and non-consumable products. The wrap can protect from exterior contamination and tampering while preventing products from breaking apart during handling. If you are wrapping products for shipping, storage, or store shelves, shrink wrapping is worth considering.

Affordability

Advantage #1Affordability, technically, someone could get started shrink-wrapping items with a case of shrink wrap bags. There are videos everywhere online about using shrink bags with no sealer or heat gun. People use a hair dryer and tape for shrinking and sealing. We do not recommend this for long unless you are on a shoestring budget, but it can work for packaging the first few items or prototypes you may have.

Even if your product is ready for more than shrink bags and a hair dryer, upfront costs for shrink wrapping are minimal compared to other forms of packaging. For packaging up to two or three hundred products per day, you can start with an I bar system that comes with everything needed to begin. These all-in-one systems often cost less than $300 - $500. From there, as production increases, machine costs will as well, but should be much less in cost than many other packaging methods.

Shrink Wrapping Versatility

Advantage #2Versatility, heat shrink wrap comes in a vast number of styles, designs, thicknesses, and applications. Heat shrink wrapping can cover a case of water bottles or package individual baked goods. Below we will briefly explain different shrink wrapping options and what they can be used for. View our previous post about what shrink wrap can be used for to see a more detailed description.

Centerfold Shrink Wrap – Used for primary and secondary packaging of consumable and non-consumable products. Everything from individual cookies to boxed electronics.

Shrink Neck Bands – Seal off bottle and container tops with a neckband and heat gun or shrink tunnel.

Single-wound Shrink Wrap – Comes off the roll flat and is often used for packaging heavier items.

Barrier Shrink Bags – Shrinkable bags with oxygen barrier properties are used for packaging meat and cheeses.

Shrink Tubing – Electrical wires and components are protected and held together with small shrink tubing often made from polyolefin.

Shrink Bags – Closed on three sides and used for retail or gift basket packaging.

Shrink Sleeves - Use around bottles for printed labeling and branding.

Shrink Wrap Protection

Advantage #3Protection from exterior elements and tampering. One of the most popular and commonly used forms of shrink wrapping is neck banding. The small piece of plastic placed around bottles and jars indicates a product has not been tampered with. Neck banding is often made with PVC tubing cut to fit the secured container.

Aside from bottles and containers, shrink wrapping can protect art, pictures, sculptures, and other pieces from scratches and scuffs.

For consumable products, shrink wrapping can protect from others touching the item and placing back on the shelf; it can also protect from moisture and dust during transport and storage. A fully enclosed shrink package will help reduce oxygen exposure and extend shelf life for some products. An example would be taco shells in a box, wrapped with shrink wrap. The wrap helps to protect the shells from going stale better than a box does.

Shrink Wrapped Frozen Pizza

Advantage #4 – Professionalism, new companies, and product lines can be ready for store shelves and shipping direct to customers. Most retail and distribution opportunities will require packaging to secure and contain the product on display or during transportation.

Fully enclosing products within a heat shrink wrap can achieve these requirements with minimal start-up costs. Several products daily can be packaged with a branded label over the film for under a few hundred dollars.

Shrink Wrap Regulations

Advantage #5 – Fulfilling Guidelines, as mentioned above, several online companies and retailers have their own guidelines. Amazon has a detailed packaging policy for the fulfillment and shipping of goods. It is not a one-size-fits-all policy either; different products and sizes are required to meet specific guidelines, or products are returned until the packaging is correct.

Retailers also have rules and guidelines for products on the shelf or display. Products such as bath bombs and soaps may require an exterior cover to keep small bits from going everywhere if dropped or mishandled. For consumable products, barrier shrink wrap and centerfold polyolefin shrink wrap protect products from contamination.

Shrink Bundling

Advantage #6 – Bundling and enclosure, multi-packs, and cased items must stay together with minimal shifting during movement from shipping or being handled by the customer. Heat shrink wrap can help with case packs and multi-packs of many different items. Bundling shrink film comes off the roll flat and is made for use with a bundling machine

Small Learning Curve

Advantage #7 – Small learning curve, the process of shrink wrapping does not require a skilled technician. Depending on the equipment used, it may require a few packages to determine the proper settings, but once dialed in, duplicating the finished look becomes easier. With the use of a heat shrink tunnel, the settings will remain the same once the tunnel reaches the set temperature.

Conclusion

Shrink wrap packaging is used for packaging around the globe. It is an affordable option with a minimal upfront cost. Shrink banding is used for securing drinks and bottle lids, while thicker polyethylene wrap is used for cases of water and drinks. If you have a product you feel could benefit from shrink wrap packaging, call us at 1-800-441-5090 or shop online at uspackagingandwrapping.com.

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