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How Shrink Bundling Film Impacts Unit Load Stability


Shrink bundling, the process where manufacturers combine items into a bundle bound together with shrink film, is a common practice in packaging.  Shrink bundling is often used when functionality or unitization is a priority over appearance.  

We see shrink bundling used for product distribution where the items will be separated manually before going out on the store shelves. 

Shrink bundling is used in a variety of industries including more industrial verticals like building products and flooring as well as with retail products like health and beauty, and food and beverage.

The shrink bundle may include a corrugated tray or pad to support the pack. But more and more we’re hearing from customers who want to lose the tray so they can reduce packaging materials, lower costs, and improve sustainability.

We’re also hearing requests to downgauge the shrink film in an effort to save on film costs.

Why is Shrink Bundling Film So Important for Unit Load Integrity?

As we got into unit load TruMotion testing for customers at the Packaging Solution Center, one of the things we noticed early on was the important role that shrink bundling film plays in overall load stability.

When we tested unit loads containing bundled products, we observed movement in the interior of the bundled packages on both the TruMotion Transportation Simulator and on the TruMotion Acceleration Sled. Because these packages are often bundling bottles containing liquids, they are inherently a more dynamic load. We could see bottles begin to move and shift on the load testing equipment.

We realized that if we could make the bundled packs more rigid and more secure, we would see more success in maintaining the unit load integrity in transit conditions.

So as we hear from customers interested in exploring more commodity-level shrink films, we can test the performance of those films versus more high performance films with the Douglas Shrink Tunnel and the TruMotion testing equipment we have at the Solution Center. We’re able to quantify and confirm the overall improvement of pack rigidity based on different film variables.

If you’re thinking about switching up shrink films for your multi-packs, or removing the corrugated trays or pads from those packs, make sure you come see us at the Packaging Solution Center so you can make smart changes with confirmed test results. Because the last thing you want is to make a change that maybe reduces material costs, but that causes product damage and increases total cost, time, and resources.

Be sure your shrink bundled multipacks are Fit2Ship. Schedule an appointment with us today.