Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on January 28th, 2020

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How Much Does A Roll Of Printed Shrink Film Cost? Understanding Pricing

Packaging Materials | The Business of Packaging | Investment

Here at Industrial Packaging, we have been selling shrink film for over 60 years. When it comes to answering the question "How much does a roll of printed shrink film cost?" We can honestly say... It depends! The total purchase price of a roll of printed shrink film can be affected by the length, gauge, size, colors of ink used and brand of film chosen. In the article below, we will take a look at the various elements that play into the total cost of a roll of printed shrink film and guide you to choosing the right film for your packaging machinery.


How Much Does A Roll Of Plain Shrink Film Cost?


A (centerfold) roll of clear shrink film costs (on average) between $100-$150. That being said, the actual purchase price of a roll of shrink film is entirely dependent on the width, length, gauge, and type of film chosen. For example: 12” CF x 45 ga. X $8.50 PIW =$102.00


To help illustrate the higher cost of printed shrink film, we will start with the traditional clear (non-printed) shrink film and review the various dynamics which affect the cost of a roll of said film.


When purchasing a roll of plain (or clear) shrink film you must first decide on several aspects of your film prior to calculating the total cost of a roll of the film. You need to choose a gauge (thickness) width and quantity of film. With this information handy, you are now ready to price a roll of clear shrink film.


So, let us set some parameters here to get the cost of a roll of clear shrink film to give you an idea of what the cost will be. For example, we will say that you are looking to purchase one roll of 45 gauge clear shrink film with a width of 12 inches. With these parameters in place, the cost of a roll of clear shrink film would be $148.40. This price is dated back in 2020, before many film manufacturers were hit with resin price increases. The cost of resin dictates the cost of films, along with the volume you purchase, as there are discounts for buying in bulk.


How Much Does A Roll Of Printed Shrink Film Cost?


You might not realize it, but it is very difficult to give a price for just one roll of printed shrink film (single-wound). This is primarily due to the fact that everyone’s design is different and there are a lot of factors that impact the cost.

These factors include but are not limited to;


  • The number of rolls

When buying printed shrink film, low quantities are more expensive per roll. The higher the number of rolls you purchase, the less each roll will cost.

  • The number of colors

The cost of each roll of printed shrink film will increase for each color used in the graphic design element of the film.

  • The need or lack thereof an overcoat

Depending on the colors you choose, an overcoat of a specific color may be required to print your design. This will increase the cost per roll of printed shrink film.

  • The size of the film

The larger the size of the roll of film chosen, the higher the cost.

  • Scrap factor

In order to get good quality printed film, there is a process during start up on the press where you need to get the print in registration for color. Since printing presses run several hundred feet per minute, a fair amount of waste may be produced while dialing in the appropriate print quality.

  • Is it going to be printed one up, or multiple and slit on press?

If printing multiple and slit on press, you are going to want to maximize the width of the press to keep your costs down.


Additionally, you will want to consider your ink coverage. Many print elements have additional color added behind them so that they have more density/depth to the image. This adds to the percentage of ink coverage and thus also increases cost.


Other factors include press run time, clean up, and etc. All of these factors are amortized over the length of the run. Now, while you can have one roll printed, it will be very expensive and the cost may not be justified for the application.


In this case, a label might be a better choice. Depending on size, a minimum run of 10 rolls for the correct quantity and design (which is very case sensitive) is recommended.


When running printed film you may want to consider the following:


Even though the quality of film is getting better every day, the thinner the gauge you use, the more stretch there will be as it goes through the press. This can lead to gaps (no ink) within the print design. And while some new presses have better web handling, the industry is mostly running 60 gauge printed shrink film in regards to running "thin". That being said, we have a couple of clients who are running as thin as 35 gauge, but that is very atypical and not recommended for most applications. Consider winding onto a 6” core, as this will minimize the number of revolutions which can also lead to stretching.


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How To Price And Purchase Rolls Of Printed Shrink Film


When asking yourself the question "how much does a roll of printed shrink film cost?" the answer is... It depends! Unlike clear shrink film, the dynamics associated with producing and purchasing printed shrink film are vastly different from clear film.


Based on the following case sensitive metrics here is a ball park figure for pricing printed shrink film:


  • 17.5” x 8750’ singlewound 10” repeat
  • 8 Color process + primer + clear
  • 50% coverage
  • Reuse original core
  • M= 1,000


30M $0.161 per impression = $803.85 (price per roll)

75M $0.1063 per impression = $619.04 (price per roll)

250M $0.076 per impression = $517.82 (price per roll)

Artwork and plates cost $4,635.00 and are not calculated into the cost per impression. If it’s a one time job, it’s easy to calculate but these could be amortized over several reorders.


Here are the steps you will want to take when pricing/buying printed shrink film:


1. When attempting to source printed shrink film, it would be wise to reach out to a local packaging professional and give a detailed explanation of your particular needs. By describing in detail the products you are packaging, the colors you wish to use, the thickness of film you would like to run, the width of the roll you need and the various other dynamics as listed above, you will be able to get a very close approximation of the cost of printed shrink film for your specific application.


Again, it is very unlikely that you would want to buy a single roll of printed shrink film, and while it is technically possible to do so, it is extremely inefficient and costly. With that being said, every packaging line is different and working with your local packaging expert, the correct implementation and number of rolls for your application can be identified via an analysis of your current packaging line and products.


Printed Shrink Film Inforgraphic V4


2. Once you have had a local packaging specialist complete the analysis of your packaging line and products, they will be able to assist you in developing the proper settings and associated elements for your potential printed shrink film needs. This will give you the associated pricing based on your actual usage of the substrate.


3. If you are unsure where to start, calculating your shrink film width for your products will help you to get the ball rolling. Once you have this information, you can use it as a base to build the rest of your requirements. In tandem with your chosen vendor, you can then develop the necessary information in regards to film gauge, color, quantity, graphic design, and the other important dynamics that go into actually quoting a price for your printed shrink film needs.


4. Finally, it would be well advised to compare pricing from at least three different vendors and to ask them to recommend the best alternative vendor if you were not to choose them. Armed with this information you will be able to identify the best vendors in your area for purchasing printed shrink film. In addition to finding the best cost, be sure that the vendor you choose is local and can offer assistance with troubleshooting, service and repairs should problems arise with your printed shrink film and related machinery.


If you are confused about the complicated calculations required to appropriately price a roll of printed shrink film, feel free to contact one of our packaging professionals for assistance. We can walk you through the process of understanding the cost associated with running printed shrink film and provide a detailed cost for your specific application.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.