How Much Does a Pallet/Stretch Wrapper Cost?

Pallet wrapping machines are a valuable addition to any shipping operation. From small specialty warehouses to large packaging operations, these machines help save time, money, and labor costs.

If you’re in the market for a stretch wrapper, you might wonder how much they cost and what exact returns you’ll get on your investment. Read on to learn more about pallet wrapper pricing and the various cost savings you can expect.

What Do Pallet Wrappers Cost?

The initial cost of semi-automatic pallet stretch wrappers can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. Automatic Pallet Wrapping machines can be considerably more expensive.

However, keep in mind that the initial upfront cost is offset tremendously by the film and manual labor cost savings over the machine’s lifetime compared to wrapping pallets by hand. The more features a machine has, the greater the cost savings.

For example, if you just purchase a turntable, your workers will still need to perform the time-consuming task of holding the stretch wrap roll and manually moving it up and down until complete. This can lead to stretch wrap waste, spilled loads, and improperly wrapped pallets due to human error and fatigue.

However, if you purchase a semi-automatic turntable wrapper, the machine might come with a “power pre-stretch” feature that significantly reduces stretch wrap waste and decreases the amount of labor required.

A fully automatic stretch wrapping machine will wrap, stretch, and in some instances, perform a perfect cut and seal at the end of the cycle. This further helps cut down on labor and human error.

Types of Pallet Wrapping Machines

There are several different types of pallet wrapping machines, each offering various features and benefits.

Primary level — The person wrapping the pallet by hand is everything – you are the turntable, the mast, and the carriage. This scenario is fine for shipping 1-2 pallets per week. However, the greater the number of pallets shipped, the greater the stretch wrap and manual labor cost.

Next level — The next level up from manually wrapping pallets without any machine assistance is buying a turntable. This eliminates the need to physically walk around the pallet and decreases the amount of time it takes to wrap.

The level beyond that is a turntable with a non-powered mast. At this point, you are still the mast (you have to move the film up and down by hand). A turntable with a powered mast will eliminate the manual up and down movement. However, it does not come with a photo-eye, which helps determine when to stop the wrapping process at the top of the load.

Average cost: $3,000

Semi-Automatic — Semi-automatic turntable wrapper machines offer far more value than the two previously mentioned levels. Depending on the model you select, it provides:

  • Ability to wrap anywhere from 20 to 200 pallets per day
  • Power pre-stretch (decreases waste by stretching the film up to 250%
  • Powered mast
  • Ability to pre-program custom wrap cycles
  • Photo-eye that allows it to sense the height of the load
  • Automatically cuts the film after the wrap
  • Ultra-low profile—ideal for shipping departments that have limited space

Average cost: $5,000 – $20,000+

Fully-Automatic — These types of pallet wrappers are ideal for shipping and packaging operations that need to wrap hundreds of pallets per day while reducing film and labor costs.

Depending on the model you select, fully automatic pallet wrappers convey the following benefits:

  • All of the features of semi-automatic machines
  • Automatic sealing of the shrink wrap at the end of a cycle
  • Fully automated wrapping process
  • Conveyorized equipment that uses high-tech sensors to bring the pallet to the wrapper, where it will automatically perform a pre-programmed cycle and then send it down the line
  • The cost can be considerably higher than Semi-Automatic Pallet Wrappers, depending on the functionality and configuration requirements.

Accessories

Depending on the model you select, there are several different optional accessories, such as:

Scale — An optional scale helps cut down on freight overage charges by providing an exact weight.

Average cost: $5,000

Pallet Wrapper Ramp — Allows an electric manual-powered pallet jack to more efficiently move a load onto a pallet wrapping machine.

Average cost: $400 – $1,500 — Depending on how big a ramp you require.

Label Printers — When used in conjunction with a scale, a label printer creates an easy-to-apply 4” sticker that shows the weight and a date/time stamp. If the cost of a stand-alone printer seems high, Handle It can also integrate the scale into the machine, calibrate it, program, and configure/program the printer. This allows for a true plug-and-play situation with no further intervention on the part of the end-user.

Average cost: $1,000

Extensions Extended Frame with Larger Turntables — Some oversized loads will not fit on a standard turntable. An enclosed frame with a larger turntable provides a bigger footprint for wrapping larger pallets.

Average cost for an extension: $1,000
Average cost for an extended frame and larger turntables: $3,500 – $4,000

Labor Cost Savings Per Year

Now that you know the approximate initial cost of a semi or fully automatic pallet wrapping machine, it’s time to look at the cost savings they can provide. The below table shows the approximate labor cost savings per year when using a stretch wrap machine versus wrapping pallets by hand.*

Pallets Wrapped Per Day
Annual Labor Cost Savings vs. Hand Wrapping
10
$1,300
20
$2,600
30
$3,900
40
$5,200
50
$6,500

*Based on an average of 4 mins to hand wrap vs. 2 minutes to attach the film and cycle the machine at a $15/hr wage range.

Buying New vs. Buying Used

If the cost of buying a new pallet wrapping machine is a concern, there are some companies out there who sell refurbished or used ones. While the initial price may be a bit lower, several factors could cause the total cost of ownership to rise above the overall cost of a new machine:

  • Warranty — There may be a minimal warranty or none at all.
  • Parts — Depending on the model you select, the availability and speed of getting replacement parts may be challenging.
  • Limited Support — Support from the manufacturer could be limited.
  • Repair — Getting a qualified technician out to your facility could take time. An average labor rate for a technician is $120 per hour and usually a minimum $250 for a trip chare to diagnose. Once diagnosed, you still have time to come back to fix once the part has arrived.

Which Pallet Wrapping Machine is Right for You?

While pallet wrapping machines offer increased savings and convenience over the traditional method of wrapping by hand, there are many different models with varying features.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-236-1080 or reach out to us via the link below. One of our knowledgeable product experts will help you determine the best machine for your packaging and shipping needs.

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