While a wooden crate can be perceived as the most important component of shipping your goods, the other materials you use for shipping can be just as crucial in getting your goods to their destination in one piece. One of the most important parts of ensuring your custom crate makes a successful journey is the plastic wrap.

There are two main kinds of plastic wrap that may be used in packaging and shipping, including shrink wrap and stretch wrap. While they may appear to just be plastic, they actually have different functions and should be used in different situations.

Shrink Wrap

As the name suggests, shrink wrap will become smaller to fit the form of the custom crate it is protecting. The layer of plastic protection is placed around the item, heat is applied, and the plastic conforms to the shape and size of the package.

Shrink wrap has a number of benefits, including creating a waterproof barrier around the package, holding together any loose items like pallets, and protecting the wooden crate from the elements. Because the plastic is wrapped so tightly around the package, it is important to remember that the items inside will not have any air circulation. Furthermore, if the package will be exposed to heat during its trip, the plastic may shrink more.

Stretch Wrap

Unlike shrink wrap, stretch wrap does not adjust to fit the size and shape of the package. Instead, it is wrapped tightly around the wooden crate to hold together any loose items. As the name suggests, stretch wrap will stretch when it is pulled.

Because stretch wrap doesn’t create an airtight barrier around the package, it will not completely protect the crate from moisture, dirt, or dust, but it can do a decent job of ensuring everything stays in one place.

Both shrink wrap and stretch wrap will have their own benefits and time for use. Before you package your item for shipping, discuss with us if shrink wrap or stretch wrap is right for your situation.