Pallet Covers: Polyethylene Shrink Covers Vs.


How will your company’s palletized product be protected during transit?

Will your palletized product sit at its destination for an extended period?

Should your palletized product be covered with a company logo / contact info?

Product development professionals and purchasing agents are often presented with the similar questions. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) pallet covers and colorful chair covers shrink pallet covers can protect your product while also serving as a valuable marketing piece. The question is standard or shrink?

Standard Low Density Polyethylene Pallet Covers

PROS: Ease of installation, low cost, stock item, available printed 1 or 2 sides.

CONS: May need to be secured to wood pallet at bottom during transit or storage.

A standard pallet cover is commonly used due to inexpensive price, availability and ease of installation. A standard pallet cover will typically be 1MIL thick (about the thickness of a household trash liner) to 6 MIL thick (twice the thickness of a contractor bag sold at most home improvement stores). 42″x48″ and 48″ x 48″ pallets are most common and therefore the covers to fit these sizes are kept in stock by most distributors. Standard pallet covers are manufactured to have a couple of inches of “play” so that the cover does not tear during installation. These covers are not typically very tightly fitted to the palletized product. Stretch film or bundling film is used to secure the cover at the bottom when needed. Many similar sizes are also readily available. For odd sized pallets and oversized pallets, custom runs are usually required. Most manufacturers will require a minimum order quantity of at least one skid for custom covers.

Common colors available are black, clear or white. Resins used in the manufacturing of these covers are either 100% virgin resin or a mixture of virgin and recycled resins. A cover made from recycled resins will typically lower the cost of the covers. Pallet covers come perforated on a roll and are available plain or printed. Ultra violet inhibitors can be added to these covers to protect the cover from deteriorating over time.

Low Density Polyethylene Shrink Pallet Covers

PROS: Heat-sealed to palletized product, only removable by knife or sharp object. No need for additional wrapping or taping at bottom to secure during transit.

CONS: Requires heat gun w/ propane tank or heat tunnel. Additional man-hrs spent. Printing on shrink covers can result in distortion of print if care is not taken during heating.

A shrink pallet cover is used when a tightly sealed cover is required. The cover is placed over the palletized product much like a standard cover. From that point the cover needs to be heated in order to shrink. Shrinking the cover can be accomplished by using a hand heat sealer and propane tank. A quality hand held heat sealer starts at around $700 plus tank. Investing in a heat shrink tunnel ($2,500 and up) provides increased efficiency as well as uniform heating.

Increased material thickness is required when using a shrink pallet cover. 4MIL to 6MIL thick covers are typically needed to withstand the heating process. This increase obviously results in a higher cost per cover. An application that may have been able to get away with 2MIL material may now have to increase to a 4MIL, thus doubling the cost. Most distributors keep several pallet sizes in stock.

Printing on shrink pallet covers is not as common as standard covers do to the possibility of distorted print. It can be done properly if heating is uniformly applied. For a quote on our custom products or our always in stock products, contact us toll free at 866.338.0674 or

Anton Kriz is Sales and Marketing Director at Kipling Enterprises, Inc.

Browse custom Pallet Covers at Kipling.

At Kipling, we are dedicated to custom manufactured products at great rates. We’re excited to exceed all expectations and be a source of knowledge for you and your team. Great customer service will be our primary goal from our first conversation and throughout the time our product is in use.



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