Best Uses for Stretch Wrap, Poly Strapping, and Steel Strapping

Best Uses for Stretch Wrap, Poly Strapping, and Steel Strapping

Best Uses for Stretch Wrap, Poly Strapping, and Steel Strapping

Securing heavy loads is essential for responsible procurement and warehouse management. Stretch wrap, poly strapping, and steel strapping are three of the best materials available when it comes to keeping heavy or stacked items secure on pallets. 

Each of these three options has many different applications and advantages and it is not always easy to know which option is best for your team. You need something strong enough to keep your haul secure and stable, without causing damage or breaking your budget. 

If it has been a while since you have considered which option is best for your warehouse needs, then this blog is for you. In this post, we will look at the advantages of each material, and compare all three so you can easily determine which one is right for your needs. Keep reading to learn more. 

A man loading packages into the back of a semi-truck

Stretch Wrap 


Stretch wrap, also known as pallet wrap, is a versatile packaging material used to secure and protect items during storage or transit. It is made from polyethylene, a durable and flexible plastic material that offers excellent stretchability. Additionally, since it is usually made from a clear plastic, you can see the items underneath.  

Stretch wrap is commonly used in a wide range of applications. It is ideal for wrapping pallets and securing heavy loads for transportation. By tightly wrapping items together, it minimizes the risk of shifting or damage during movement. It can also be used to bundle smaller objects together, such as boxes or packages. 

One of the major advantages of stretch wrap is its ability to conform to the shape of the item being wrapped, ensuring a secure fit. It also offers protection against dirt, dust, and moisture.  

To use stretch wrap effectively, start by anchoring the film to the pallet or item. Begin wrapping from the bottom, working your way up to create multiple layers for added strength. Make sure to apply tension while stretching at the corners of the object to ensure a tight and secure wrap. 

Three people working in a warehouse

Poly Strapping 


Poly strapping, also known as polypropylene strapping, is a versatile and durable packaging material widely used across various industries. It is made from a strong and flexible polypropylene resin, offering excellent strength and resistance to tearing. 

Poly strapping is commonly used for securing and bundling heavy items and loads. It is especially useful for binding items together during transportation to prevent shifting or damage. With its high tensile strength and break strength, it can securely hold even heavy loads in place. 

However, poly strapping may not be suitable for packaging fragile or delicate items, as it lacks the cushioning properties of bubble wrap or packing paper. It is also less resistant to extreme temperatures and may not perform well in such conditions. 

To use poly strapping effectively, start by threading it through a strapping tool or buckle. Wrap it tightly around the item or pallet, overlapping the strap for added strength. Secure the ends using a tension tool or heat sealer to ensure a tight and secure fit. 


Steel Strapping 


Steel strapping is a strong and durable packaging material that is primarily composed of heavy metal strap. It is commonly used to secure and bundle heavy items and loads during transportation or storage. With its exceptional break strength, steel strapping provides a reliable and secure solution for packaging heavier and irregularly shaped items. 

Steel strapping is highly suitable for securing items that are prone to shifting or damage during transit. It offers excellent resistance to tension, ensuring that even the heaviest loads remain securely bound together. Additionally, steel strapping is resistant to extreme temperatures, making it an ideal choice for shipping goods in various environments. 

To effectively use steel strapping, start by threading it through a steel strapping seal. Wrap it tightly around the item or pallet, ensuring there is enough overlap for added strength. Then, use a tension tool to secure the ends and create a tight and secure fit. It is advisable to wear protective gloves and use appropriate tools to handle steel strapping safely. 


Comparing the Three 


Each of these three pallets packing options presents various pros and cons. The three main factors of each are cost, strength, and ease of use.  


  • When it comes to the cost of materials, stretch wrap will be cheaper than the other two options since it is made from plastic and used to contain more delicate materials.

  • Poly strapping, made of resin, falls in the middle. It provides a durable and cost-effective way to secure your merchandise, but it is not the best option for delicate materials. 

  • Steel strapping will run you a higher bill than the other two, but it is by far the sturdiest material. Since it is made from steel, this strapping is well worth the cost.  

Verdict: Use the right material for the right job. When it comes to securing your loads on a pallet choose based on weight and product need. Think of it this way, spending a bit more initially will save you money and lost time in the long run.  



  • If you are looking for the strongest material, steel strapping wins, hands down. However, you need to be careful as the steel is so strong that it can damage your product.

  • Coming in second is poly strapping. Poly strapping is plenty strong, but it won't stand up to the heaviest loads. Additionally, it can damage loads that are too fragile. It is a good choice when the stretch wrap is too light and steel strapping is too heavy.
  • While stretch wrap is the most delicate, it is perfect for many jobs, especially those that need to keep multiple smaller items secured together. 

Verdict: Again, use the right material for the job. Stronger isn't always better and delicate products can be damaged by steel strapping or even poly strapping. Be sure to understand the needs of your goods before selecting the strength of your packing material.  


Ease of Use 


  • Stretch wrap is a packing solution that is easy to use even for beginners. Applying it is as simple as wrapping and stretching the plastic around your pallet full of items while being mindful to add tension. 

  • Poly strapping can be harder to manage than stretch wrap, but it is still relatively easy to apply after some training. The poly strapping is used in conjunction with a buckle or seal and must be wrapped around the pallet and merchandise and then secured using a tensioning tool. 

  • Steel strapping is the most difficult strapping to apply and should only be handled by a person with experience. Steel strapping should be applied using a strapping tool and wrapped tightly to ensure sufficient pressure is applied. It then must be tightened or finished with a tensioning tool. Workers should wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling steel strapping. 

Verdict: Stretch wrap is easiest to use and is a good starting place for beginners. Poly strapping requires more experience for use. Finally, steel strapping requires the use of multiple tools and protective equipment. Steel strapping should only be handled by experienced professionals.  


Pallet Packing Supplies from AM Shipping Supplies 


Choosing the perfect strapping material for your pallet does not have to be hard. Stretch wrapping, poly strapping, and steel strapping are all great materials to use, but each has its purpose. A material that is right for one pallet may not be right for another.  

AM Shipping Supplies makes the process easy. We stock stretch wrap, poly strapping, and steel strapping in multiple different sizes and lengths to ensure that you get the right material for your warehouse or packing needs. Iff you aren't sure what strapping material you need, our packing experts are here to advise you.  

If you are looking for pallet strapping material for your next job, click here to shop with AM Shipping Supplies now! 

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