Several organizations and warehouses use shrink and stretch wrapping techniques to keep their products intact for distribution. So, if you’re new to the industry or maybe wondering what technique could be best for your product/s, then read on.

Stretch and Shrink Packaging often get confused with each other because they pretty much serve the same purpose of wrapping things tightly together. However, for one to optimize their production it is needed that the differences be known.

What is Stretch Wrapping and its purpose?

Stretch wrapping is mainly being used to palletize products ready for transit. The wrapping material has high elasticity to hold things together. Commonly used to pack palletized boxes, there are also options of stretch film you could purchase in the market, ie. Antistatic, etc.

What is Shrink Wrapping and its purpose?

Shrink wrapping is commonly done to protect products from damage and dirt. The process of shrinking also differs from stretch wrapping. The film used to wrap the items together is heated via a heat gun for it to shrink around the product, molding around it like a shield.


  • Protects products – the elasticity helps in keeping larger boxes together, this also is a common use when transporting light weight items so the boxes won’t be lost or damaged.

  • Palletized boxes – main advantage of stretch wrapping is to hold palletized boxes together. This contributes in easier distribution and lesser damages during transit.

  • Less cost – The equipment for stretch wrapping products are more economic compared to the shrinking equipment


  • Protects products – the shrink film is made to protect each product from dust, dirt, weather, and other elements and it also helps with holding smaller products together

  • Reduce moisture – it is used in keeping perishables fresh, like cheese, meats, etc. This technique of wrapping products draw all the air out and pack the products.

  • Ventilation – the item being packed using shrink wrapping technique can be ventilated so to keep moisture in check.

What material is used in stretch wrapping? 

Stretch films are mostly made up from linear low-density polyethylene and is very adaptable to products you will be wrapping. This material has high elasticity that keeps the items bound. There are two kinds of extrusion process to produce a stretch film – Cast or Blown.

What material is used in shrink wrapping? 

PVC Shrink film  was the most widely used shrink film but was replaced by POF Shrink film. POF shrink film is a material made from polyolefin plastics.

What machines are available?

Stretch Wrapping machines are widely available in the market with operating options - manual, semi-automatic, automatic, fully automatic - depending on your production needs.

What machines are available?

Shrink wrapping uses heating equipment so the film can shrink and mold to the product’s shape. Heat guns are commonly used type of heating equipment; there are also i-bar, l-bar sealers for manual and automatic operation; and shrinking tunnel when product to be packed is bigger.

What industry suits stretch wrapping?

Forwarding and warehousing companies uses stretch wrapping for their packaging and distribution requirement. As it is useful in palletizing boxes.

What industry suits shrink wrapping?

Most food, pharmaceutical, retail, electronics industry uses shrink wrapping for their packaging requirement.

Process of stretch wrapping

Item/s to be wrapped would be inserted on a semi/automatic machine and film will be wrapped around the item – securing the goods intact. Manual operation is also done using a stretch hand film dispenser.

Process of shrink wrapping

Item/s will be put inside the film. Film is loose around the item by this point and heat gun/tunnel will be operated to shrink the film and mold into the item’s shape.

Sal-Tech Easy Packaging utilizes solutions for effective production. If you’re still undecided and need further assistance, you may contact our Customer Service via e-mail at or call at +45 7027 2220.