To calculate the cost of wrapping a pallet, we need to look at two main factors: the stretch wrap price and how much you use to cover a single pallet.
In this simple experiment, we can estimate the baseline cost of wrapping a pallet. First, we wrap a pallet by hand. Then, removing the wrap, we weigh it on a sensitive scale, which will give us a reading of between 250g and 500g. Using the stretch wrap price, we can then calculate the cost based on the amount of material used for the load. This process is called a ‘cut and weigh test’, and we find it’s the most accurate way to assess the cost per pallet wrapped. You can do the same with the method you currently use to cover a pallet to calculate the cost of wrapping a pallet in your business.
It doesn’t, however, factor in other variables like the time and labour it takes to wrap a pallet, or the differences in size and weight of the pallets, or the distance they will need to travel, which also affects how much stretch wrap is applied. These are significant considerations if you are wrapping hundreds of pallets each year.
The power of pre-stretch
Using a pallet wrapping machine with a power pre-stretch function could get the pallet wrap cost down to about 150g per load, which is a significant difference compared to the costs of a manual wrapping machine. Changing the stretch wrap you use can also lower costs. Some devices can accommodate wrap with a lower gauge because they are more sensitive when applying the wrap.
The cost of wrapping a pallet will also change depending on the size of the pallet and the type of machine. For example, switching from 25um stretch wrap used on an older type machine to a 15 gauge stretch wrap on a power pre-stretched machined (PPS) will cut costs by up to 40 percent. A standard friction break wrapping machine should save you about 10 to 20 percent in wrapping costs compared to manual wrapping.
Calculating the costs
A standard size pallet (1200 x 1200 x 1200) high, wrapped with a traditional machine, friction break, or mechanical break machine, will cost between $1.50 to $2.00 to wrap a pallet.
However, our power pre-stretched machines such as the Synthex Power Pre-stretch Machine or the Mythos Mytho PRS Pallet Wrapping Machine will reduce the cost per pallet wrapped to a range between $0.60 to $0.80. It does this because it stretches one metre of wrap out to three metres giving significant savings. The benefit of power pre-stretch machines is that they have a sensitive unit that can apply the wrap thinner and dispense it so it doesn’t break with the sensitive dense roller or load cell.
In terms of time and labour costs, the savings to be made are clear. The pallet wrapping machine will wrap significantly faster because it spins around much quicker than a user can get around it by walking around it. The pallet wrapping machine will also wrap higher pallets more easily, reaching heights of 2.2m to 2.5m.