Free shipping on all stretch filmsGuest post by Debbie Nottelmann

Determining your REAL stretch film cost

As I mentioned in Part 1, there are two ways of looking at cost: roll cost, and unit cost, which is the most accurate because it takes into consideration yield, number of wraps, etc. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on determining unit cost. First, you are going to need a few tools to measure all the variables. You can actually purchase a kit from Highlight Industries for $100.

  • A digital, or spring loaded scale that measures in ounces
  • A tape measure
  • A 10” wheel (that marks the film), or a magic marker
  • A spring loaded “fish scale” that measures in lbs.
  • A Force to Load Plate

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!

Have the operator attach the tail of the film to the pallet, hold the 10” star wheel against the roll of film (which places an ink mark on the unstretched film every 10 inches) and start the machine. Put on three good ink marks on the unstretched film. After the pallet is wrapped, located the ink marks and measure the distance between them. That number, minus 10 (the star wheel size) x 10 is your percent stretch. If the distance is 28 inches (28-10=18 x10=180% stretch). If you use a marker and put lines on the unstretched film 1” apart, then you will measure, subtract 1 x 100= % stretch. So if the distance is 3”, minus 1”=2×100= 200%. This helps you to know the yield of the film, the gears you have in your machine and whether you are maximizing the potential of the film.

Next, find a flat surface on the side of the load. I try to measure 10” over and 10” down and place the center of the force plate there. The important thing is to always use the same measurement. Hook the fish scale to the plate, cut a small hole in the film and place the tape measure in the hole while pulling the plate out 3” (again just stay consistent). When the film hits the 3” mark, read the scale and note the amount of force being applied on the load. That is the containment force this particular film is giving you. If you have not had complaints about loads shifting in transit, then the force is probably sufficient. This is a good measure to use when testing other films against your current film. There are films today that give higher yield, are thinner with more footage, and give you much lower costs and higher containment.

Stretch film costs results

Finally, cut the film off and weigh it on your digital or spring loaded scale and make a note of the weight of the film you are putting on the load.

Now you are ready to determine your real cost. You will need to know the specs of the film you are using.

For instance, a 20”, 80gauge, 6000 feet/roll: First determine the weight of the roll (20 x 6000 x 12 (inches/foot) x .8mil/ 30,000= 38.4lbs/roll of net poly (without the core).

Now determine cost/pound of film. If you are paying $45/roll / 38.4 lbs/roll; then the cost/lb of film is $1.17/lb. If the cut off film weighs 8 oz., then 8oz/16oz/lb=.5lb. So .5lb x1.17/lb=$0.586/load.

Of course if you know how many loads per year that gives you a base to compare annual savings with other films. That will be covered in a later post, but if you have questions, please contact us at Salazar Packaging.

Editor’s note please feel free to contact Debbie directly with any questions at . She will be happy to walk you through the process or answer any questions you may have.

Related post:

Two color custom print on exterior of stock boxHere is a piece of advice we frequently give our potential customers – don’t let the one time print plate cost discourage you from creating a GREAT printed box, rather than a nice printed box.

While I have written many times that we can produce a great one color print, especially on a white background, on a Kraft (brown) background a second color can make a print more interesting and provide contrast for an eye catching look.

Lather and Lotions: two colors, well done!

Stock 8-9-4 mailer printed one color insideWhether you visit their store site linked above or their very helpful, instructional blog:, you can get all the assistance and supplies you need to make your own soaps and lotions. If you are one of the growing number of people who are very careful about everything you eat, drink and apply to your body, this is a great site to visit.

After considering several different layouts and designs, they decided to go with a simple one color print on Kraft on the inside of one of our stock sizes (8-1/2” X 9” X 4” lock front mailer) and a two color design on Kraft on the outside of their box. You can see how the green and white they chose for the exterior complement each other and still achieve the great, soft, green image they wanted. I think you’ll agree either color without the other would have not been nearly as attractive.

The cost of the second color?

While it is true a second plate is necessary to print a second color, in most cases it costs between $400 and $600, and it is a onetime expense. The additional cost for the second color per box is usually pennies. The third color on any box is expensive (see the first “related post” below) but the second one is a deal at what is usually between five and 10 cents per box. Combined with a good graphic design, that buys a lot of impact for very little additional cost.

Whether you go with a one or two color print, our advice is NEVER be boring. Once you have made the commitment to brand your packaging, dare to be bold, to stand out in an ever increasingly crowded market.

Please contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 815-609-3600 for a no cost application review so we can help you determine the best way to communicate your message and make a lasting, positive impression.

Related posts:

ALL Stock Die Cut Corrugated Mailers on Sale!

Internet saleMany people we work with begin their subscription box program or their e-commerce fulfillment by utilizing our stock, unprinted Globe Guard® die cut mailers. They are green, they look great, can be easily branded with labels and are available in small order quantities. That is important when the volume has not grown to the point when even our low 1,000 box minimum for custom printing is feasible.

Every stock mailer box we have is on sale through September 15th, 2014.

We have reduced every stock mailer at by a minimum of 10% and maintained our low, one flat rate shipping policy to help our customers at what is typically one of the heaviest shipping periods of the year.

The available sizes vary from our smallest 5” x 4” X 3” for shipping small items such as candles to our largest 14-1/2” X 9-1/2” X 3” ideal for shipping large items and clothing.

Custom Prints and Custom Runs Also Available

If you do not see the size you prefer, please contact us because we may have a cutting die available and can special run it for you in a low 1,000 box minimum. If we are going to run it for you, that means we can make it in Kraft or white and can easily add your custom print for a few cents per box.

Why are custom printed boxes just slightly more expensive than plain/unprinted boxes?

People are often times surprised when they find out that their boxes can be printed one color ink for very little additional cost. The reason for this is that boxes are made and printed, almost simultaneously during the manufacturing process. In other words, adding ink to your box adds almost no additional set up time.

For plain boxes, please visit the corrugated mailers section of our Globe Guard® store to see the sizes and styles that are in stock. For custom printed mailer boxes contact us at Salazar Packaging for a review of your branded packaging requirements.

Related posts:

Unpadded Paper Mailer EnvelopesThis has become a favorite shipping container for many of our customers, especially those shipping soft goods like tee shirts, baby clothes and other fabrics and garments. They are typically less expensive than a box, require no tape or time to erect and seal and are available in a variety of stock sizes.

More Options to Fit your Packaging Needs

Not only are these unpadded mailers available in white or Kraft, they are also available flat or gusseted. Gusseted mailers expand creating a three dimensional container able to better accommodate various product thicknesses and order sizes. In addition the available sizes range from the smallest 5” X 10” to our largest 12-1/2” X 4” X 20”. Some custom sizes are also an option (5,000 mailer minimum) if none of the available stock sizes work for you.

Save at least 10% on all Stock Mailer Envelope Sizes

Group Shot 2Now through the end of August, every stock, unpadded mailer envelope is on sale at a minimum of 10% off. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Globe Guard Products if you have any questions or would like to see a sample or two.

Also, please remember these same mailers are also available custom printed in an incredibly low one case minimum, making branded packaging possible for even the lowest volume applications. (Please see third related post below)

Related posts:

Machine Film-EconomyGuest post by Debbie Nottelmann

With resin and stretch film prices continuing to go up, and companies looking to increase profitability, the question becomes “how do I cut my costs in stretch film and still not compromise my loads?” There are a number of things to consider.

“Real” stretch film cost?

Many companies and buyers tend to focus on roll cost which in most cases tells them very little about the actual unit cost to wrap one pallet. We will cover the most accurate way to perform that comparison and cost analysis in part two of this series, but first we have to look at the way film is being used and HOW you are wrapping your load. There are many factors that help determine the efficiency and ultimate cost of the pallet wrapping film being purchased and utilized.

Equipment Impact on Stretch Film Costs

We typically like to begin a review by finding out the capabilities of the pallet wrapping equipment being used, and its condition. For nominal costs, gears can be upgraded to higher stretch; giving you more pallets wrapped per roll. Talk to your machine operator and ask them if they have any problems. They will be happy to tell you! For instance, nicked up metal or rubber rollers can tear the film, causing it to break, so operators will turn down the tension to compensate (resulting in less yield and less secure loads). Operators get “creative” to get the job done and this may be costing you money. This issue is nothing that fine sandpaper on the metal rollers cannot correct. If the rollers are chewed up and slashed, you may need to purchase new rollers. Make note of how many wraps are being put on the top and bottom of your load. This can be found on the panel of your equipment. Many times the operator uses subjective opinion on how many times to wrap, and that may not be what is needed for your application.

Pallet Stretch Wrapping Application

While many think all loads are the same that is rarely the case. When attempting to determine the best film for a specific customer application, we usually start out by finding out the following information:

1) How heavy is your average load? Heavier loads require more force to load from the film; with some films being soft, and others that have resin blends that put considerable force on the load.

2) Is your load nice and square with little in the way of puncture hazards; a bit irregular with 3” variations throughout the load; or is it quite irregular with up to 6” puncture hazards? This has an influence on determining what type of film is needed for your load.

3) Another consideration is whether the loads are shipping out mostly less than truckload, or mostly full truckloads. This is important because you may be over wrapping your pallets for full truck load shipments. After all, where is the load going to go? Full truck loads minimize the shifting that a load can do.

The key is to approach this with an open mind. Just because you’ve always done it this way, does not mean it is the most cost efficient today. With resin technology continuing to evolve, there are better ways to do the same thing for less cost.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your pallet wrapping needs. For more information, email us at:

Editor’s note: Debbie Nottelmann has literally decades of experience and is considered a packaging industry expert in the area of pallet unitization and stretch film technology. It is our pleasure to have her sharing her wealth of knowledge with our ISP readers.  

Related posts:

best priceThe final clearance of all stock RSC boxes continues with many sizes already depleted and no longer available. You are able to buy any remaining sizes and quantities at 30% below original cost, which is our lowest price EVER for our 100% recycled content boxes, making them the lowest cost shipping boxes on the internet!

To be clear, we are NOT discontinuing the stocking of our die cut mailer line, only the RSC style shipping boxes. If anything we will soon be adding additional new die cut mailer sizes once we eliminate current RSC inventory.

Custom Run RSC boxes still available!

We can still run ANY size RSC box you want, most with 500 minimum except for small boxes (smaller than 12x12x12) that have a 1,000 box minimum. This minimum applies to plain/unprinted boxes in white or Kraft AND for custom printed boxes. You can now eliminate costly labels by adding your logo or other message to your box at minimal cost and at the same minimum quantities. Contact us for more details or see the “related posts” links below.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging if you have any questions or would like to discuss custom printing and branding your boxes. Or if you prefer, call us at 815-609-3600.

Related posts:

  • Filed under: Salazar News
  • Custom Inserts for Stock and Custom Mailer Boxes

    4 cavity foam insertWe spend a lot of time helping our clients and customers create some of the most attractive custom printed shipping boxes used for e-commerce, branding purposes and subscription commerce applications. However in many cases, what goes on inside the box is every bit as important, because after all, if the product being shipped arrives dented or damaged, it barely matters what the box looks like.

    Different objectives of internal packaging

    Unlike paper wrap or loose fill options which can be very attractive and provide some level of cushioning or surface protection, custom inserts are specifically designed and engineered to immobilize the product being shipped. The goal may be to prevent product to product damage which is quite common, or to absorb the shock resulting from a drop.

    Here are a few of the most common protective, custom internal packaging options we have to offer:

    shown with lower half of molded pulp clamshellMolded Pulp Trays and Clamshells

    With our low 1,000 minimum and tooling costing hundreds rather than thousands of dollars, our process makes this option very affordable, even for low volume or short term applications. We can create an open top custom tray for the product or various components to sit in, with or without a top tray covering, creating a “clamshell’ to protect the product from over as well as under.

    Every application is a little different but we are able to create low cost molds for just about any application. Molded pulp is considered one of the greenest packaging materials available because it is simply paper waste put to good use.

    Die Cut or Molded Foam

    There are many different types and densities of foam ranging from very soft polyurethane to extremely stiff forms, or in between such as our biodegradable semi-rigid foam. Some can be machined, or molded, and others simply fabricated depending on the application and volume.

    What material or process is best depends on what level and type of protection the product being shipped requires. Other factors include order quantity, tooling costs and in some cases appearance.

    die cut insert for glass bottlesDie Cut Corrugated Inserts

    When a corrugated or paperboard insert is placed inside a shipping box we create a package that may contain a high percentage of recycled (even post-consumer) waste and is easily recyclable anywhere, making it a very green packaging option. What we enjoy most since it is a custom die cut option, is the way we can build in versatility enabling the shipper to use the same insert for multiple products and configurations.

    Inserts can be very plain in natural Kraft or white or used to create a terrific presentation, enhancing the customer’s experience. The minimum can range from 1,000 inserts to several thousand depending on size and graphics but there is no limit to what we can help you create to hold your product(s) in place during shipment and display them for your customers.

    This is just a snapshot look at several more common options but we have many more solutions to choose from. As always we are led by the application and we would love to discuss yours with you. Please contact Salazar Packaging for a review of your needs or call us at 815-609-3600.

    Related posts:


    What is semi-custom branded packaging?

    mailers all made with 9-6-2  house cutting dieSimply put, it is affordable custom printed packaging because we take some of the steps out of the process and use standard available tooling whenever possible, saving our clients time and money.

    What’s the difference?

    When making die cut mailer boxes, custom packaging is usually custom size and custom print. That means the customer has to purchase a custom cutting die that usually costs anywhere from $700 to $1,000. This also typically adds a week to the process. Then for the custom printing, they also need of course, custom print plates which usually cost between $400 and $600 per color and per side (inside or outside).

    When making semi-custom boxes, we supply the cutting die from our long list of available “house” dies. A small sampling, but not all are listed in the corrugated mailers section of our Globe Guard Products, green packaging store. If you have a specific size that you need and it does not appear on our store, please ask. Chances are we have something that is close and will work for you. (please see photos for examples)

    Whether it is a stock or a custom size, you still need to purchase print plates, however print plates are a one-time expense and typically last almost forever. Unless you change the copy, the size of the copy, or the size of the mailer box, you should never have to replace your print plates.

    What semi-custom packaging is NOT

    Unfortunately, it is not a way to avoid a minimum. There is a misconception that we print or imprint mailer boxes that are already made. The fact is that we print the corrugated board using the customer’s print plates, and then we cut it into boxes with the cutting die. The set up time and cost is the same whether it is a custom or semi-custom mailer box we are making so our minimum remains at a very low 1,000 boxes.

    Lower quantities? Consider digital printing.

    You will be hearing more about our digital printing capabilities in the very near future. It is an opportunity to create multi-color images, in very low quantities, without print plates or cutting die. Please note, the cost per box can be VERY high but for the right situation it can be a bargain because it can potentially save thousands of dollars in set up costs and hardware. Again, digital is not designed to be price competitive with standard flexographic printing, because that is not possible. However, if you need a few samples for a trade show or customer presentation, it may be the best available option.

    mailers all made with 7-7-2. house  cutting dieOne Branded Packaging Company – Many Solutions

    Very few companies offer a full assortment of custom printing options the way we do. They include:

    • Basic flexographic printing, inside or outside packaging container of any type
    • Upgraded inks and boards including Kemi/White Top for enhanced graphics
    • Digital printing for those unusual short run situations
    • Process print for “litho label” like applications
    • Litho Labels – when the very best images are needed

    It is not as confusing as it may sound when you have the right partner helping you through the process. With packaging experience measured in decades, not months or years, we are sure to help you make an informed decision that you will not regret.

    Please contact Salazar Packaging for a free and confidential, no cost application review of your specific needs.

    Related posts:





    Chicago_Flag_Bow_tie_by_OoOtie_Boston_Bow_tiesBow ties are in though some would say they were never out. We have all admired a well-dressed man who wears a bow tie confidently, looking very distinguished. One of our new customers, OoOtie Boston Bow Ties (OoO Ties rhymes with BOW ties) specializes in making fashionable bow ties available and convenient. Check out their new web site to see one of the neatest assortment of bow ties available on the web.

    Great looking packaging for a great looking product Much like the products they sell, the nice people at OoOTie wanted packaging that is attractive and distinctive, while remaining ecofriendly and classy. They decided on a very small custom box, in Kraft with minimal black print. There is more to this small (5” X 3-1/2” X 1-1/2”) box than it may appear. First of all it is an Eco Mailer Box™ style that uses the minimum amount of corrugated and makes it easy for the customer to remove the product being shipped. (See related post below) In addition, it has dust flaps to make the box stronger and prevent the bow ties from falling out or being pilfered, as well as an easy open tab and cut out. Custom printed, die cut mailer boxThe end result is a box that satisfied all of OoOTie’s objectives, delivering the product safely, in an economical but eye catching shipping container. If you are looking for a very attractive bow tie, check out the OoO tie web site and if you are in need of a very attractive, eco-friendly, custom printed shipping container, contact the e-commerce packaging specialists at Salazar Packaging.

    Related posts:

    ALL Pallet Wrap, Stretch Films on Sale!

    Internet Sale

    ALL Pallet Wrap, Stretch Films on Sale!

    No matter if you call them pallet wrap films, stretch films, or even shrink film, and whether you use them for bundling, hand wrapping or high speed, automatic pallet wrapping, they are ALL on sale at through June 30th, 2014, with FREE SHIPPING!

    All film formulations on sale!

    Our complete selection of high performance, high yield and economy film are included so you are sure to find the best film for your specific needs, at the lowest possible prices.

    This includes our 16” and 18” hand wrap films as well as our 20” and 30” stretch films in gauges that include 45, 47, 55, 60, 63, 70 and 80.

    Easy to order

    Point and click on the film of choice on our store and it will be delivered within a few days to your door, at no additional cost.

    As always, if you have any questions or would like to see a sample of any of our films, please contact us through or you can call us at 815-609-3600.

    Related posts:

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Salazar News
  • Have you seen the new Globe Guard Reusable Box Sealer