Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on July 7th, 2022

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Strapping Material VS Stretch Film: Which Is Right For You?

Packaging Materials | Shipping Protection

Are you trying to decide between strapping material and stretch film? If so, you have a lot to consider.


On the one hand, Stretch film is a fantastic flexible packaging film that is perfect for securing, containing, and palletizing your products.


Stretch film is recyclable and comes in various sustainable formulations, such as PIR recycled stretch film and bio-based stretch film.


On the other hand, strapping material is another hugely popular packaging material that can be used to secure and contain pallets of products.


Strapping is perfect for the packaging of newspapers and magazines as well as heavier items such as cinder blocks and industrial equipment. And it is recyclable.


But, which of these two packaging materials are best suited for securing your products for transportation and storage?


In this article, we will compare strapping material to stretch film and help you choose the packaging material best suited for your product palletizing needs.


What Is Strapping Material?




Strapping material is a long piece of flat packaging substrate that comes wound onto a core. These look similar to the rolls of fishing line you may find at your local Walmart.


However, rolls of strapping are much larger than rolls of fishing line. Strapping is generally made from three different types of materials.


These include polypropylene, polyester, and steel.


Strapping material is used to unitize, palletize and contain various types of products of different shapes, sizes, and weights for shipping and transportation. Strapping may also be used for bundling consumer products such as clothing and magazines.


Strapping is applied to the products being packaged with an automated strapping machine or a handheld strapping tool (also known as a tensioner).


What Is Stretch Film?


one-sided cling stretch wrap


Stretch film (alternatively known as stretch wrap) is a highly stretchy plastic film that is most commonly made from polyethylene.


The elastic nature of this flexible packaging film ensures that the products contained within are bound tight.


Stretch film is commonly used with automated stretch wrapping machinery or a handheld tool known as a stretch wrap dispenser to ensure the proper load containment of the palleted products.


With one of the aforementioned tools, stretch film is wrapped around stacks of palletized products to keep them steady and contained during shipping and transportation. Stretch film may also be used for bundling products such as firewood.


Trying to figure out if stretch film is right for you?

Show Me The Complete Guide To Stretch Film!


Which Is Right For You? Strapping Or Stretch Film?


Now that you know the differences between Strapping and Stretch Film, you are probably wondering which material is best for your packaging requirements?


To decide which of these two materials is the correct packaging supply to palletize items you wish to contain, you will have to answer a few questions.


With the answers to these questions, you should have everything you need to decide which material is a better fit for you.


  • Are you packaging ultra-heavy items such as steel beams or construction equipment? - If you answered yes, steel strapping material is your best choice.

  • Are you packaging items that require warehouse color coding, international transportation, or dating inventory? - If you are, color stretch films are your best choice as they were created specifically for these applications.

  • Are you unitizing pallets of boxes of bottled or canned beverages? - If so, polyester strapping would be your best bet.

  • Are you unitizing products that need to be resistant to ultraviolet light? - If your answer was yes, then UVI stretch film is the proper packaging material choice for you.

  • Are you packaging newspapers, magazines, or trade publications? - If you said yes, polypropylene strapping is an excellent choice.

  • Do you require anti-rust capabilities for your packaging material? - If yes, then Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor Stretch Film may be right for you.

  • Are you transporting heavy industrial items via railroad without a container? - If so, you are required by the Association of American Railroads to use steel strapping.

  • Are you shipping appliances? - If you are, polypropylene strapping is the correct option.


Strapping Plus Stretch Film For Ultra-Heavy Loads


When you are looking to contain ultra-heavy loads, obscure pallets, and loads with sharp edges, it can be difficult to properly and safely contain these items.


For many companies, the solution is to use strapping material and stretch film together on the same load.


By applying four straps to the palleted products (two straps lengthwise, two straps crosswise) and then wrapping the pallet in stretch film, you may be able to contain loads that would otherwise be impossible to contain.


By combining the strength of strapping material and stretch film, you can safely contain obscure, super heavy loads with sharp edges.


Can You Swap Out Stretch Film And Strapping With One Material?


As noted above, when securing hefty, obscure, and sharp-edged loads, many companies wrap their pallets with stretch film and strapping material.


But, in a day and age where everyone is looking to cut costs and save money where possible, this can be an expensive combination to use.


Wouldn't it be great if you could replace stretch film and strapping with one material? Well, we have some excellent news for you!


Thanks to new technological advancements in stretch film manufacturing, there is now a single film that can be used to wrap those ultra-heavy, obscure, and sharp-edged loads!


That film is steelflex titanium stretch film by alliance plastics.


This film is the strongest stretch film in the world. And, you can only buy the strongest stretch film in the world from packaging distributors like Industrial packaging.


Do You Want To Buy Strapping Or Stretch Film?


After reading this article, you should have everything you need to choose the proper packaging material to secure, contain and palletize your products safely.


But, you are probably wondering where you can buy these materials and how much they cost. If that is the case, please contact one of our packaging experts.


They will be able to answer any questions you may have about strapping and stretch film and can get you pricing for either of these materials.


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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.