Shrink Sleeve Storage and Shelf Life Guidelines You Must Know

Are you using high-quality shrink sleeve labels for your awesome products? You can now count on making your brand and products stand out on shop shelves.

Considering that shrink sleeves are somewhat fragile and delicate packaging materials, it is crucial to understand and follow the best techniques for handling, storing, and transporting shrink sleeves correctly.

After all, the last thing you’d want is for your shrink sleeves to become damaged due to conditions in your control. Right?

Let’s get started.

Common Factors That Influence The Quality of Your Shrink Sleeves

 Several conditions can affect and even compromise the usability of shrink sleeves. These include –

1. Temperature and Heat

Extreme temperatures such as excessively hot or very cold and direct sunlight can distort and damage your shrink sleeves beyond repair. When this happens, the sleeves become unusable, costing you heavily.

Now, with summers here in full swing, proper storage and shipping become extremely important if you want to protect the sleeves from damage and get the best results from them.

Usually, when exposed to temperatures beyond 30°C, shrink sleeves show a tendency to start shrinking. This in turn causes difficulty in sleeving products correctly.

Humidity is another factor having a bearing on the label’s ink and shrink sleeve usability.

BEST PRACTICE: While shrink sleeves are liked for their ability to shrink or expand easily, depending on the application, unwanted shrinkage due to temperature fluctuations need to be avoided.

To do this, shrink sleeves need to be stored and shipped under proper temperature control and ensure swift application to get the intended results.

2. Environmental Pollutants

Before the shrink sleeves get applied to your products, they go through various processes and get handled by several people.

When exposed to dirt and dust particles, shrink sleeves which already has some static charge and attract this dust, lose their sheen and their effectiveness to be applied to your products.

Also, incorrect handling can cause scratches and other forms of damage.

BEST PRACTICE: Handle shrink sleeves with responsibility and care to protect their looks, sheen, and keep the quality intact.

3. Storage

If your shrink sleeves get stored for long periods before the actual application, they are more likely to be exposed to varying problematic conditions like natural shrinkage of the film, or film getting brittle. And this increases their susceptibility to damage.

BEST PRACTICE: Plan your product’s packaging process and avoid overstocking so you won’t have to store your shrink films for longer than required.

Transportation & Storage Tips for Shrink Sleeves


  • It’s best to ship the shrink sleeves in a temperature-controlled delivery vehicle.
  • If quantity not sufficient for a refrigerated vehicle, then during summers, get the sleeves delivered for application overnight or early morning to avoid excessive heat and sun exposure.
  • Ensure there are no damages during transit.


  • If there is a gap in the application despite timely delivery, store your shrink sleeves in a temperature-controlled storage facility.
  • If storing an extra reserve of sleeves, ensure the temperature and humidity levels are in check- preferably less than 25°C
  • Avoid storing them for more than 180 days.
  • During summers, store the shrink sleeve labels towards the colder parts of the warehouse, away from sun exposure.
  • Avoid fluctuations in temperature.


Shelf Life of Your Shrink Sleeves

Even if you buy the highest-quality shrink packaging for your products, remember, they too have a USE BEFORE date. In other words, you cannot store your labels indefinitely, or they will become unusable.

Hence, speak to your supplier to know the expected shelf life of the sleeves you are ordering and buy only the quantity which you may need since now lower quantities of sleeves can also be printed with ease.

Closing Thoughts

Your investment in good-quality labels is guaranteed to deliver excellent results, provided you and your packaging partner follow the necessary storage, transportation, and handling guidelines.

Would you like an expert opinion on which sleeves are best for your products, how to buy an optimum quantity of sleeves with ease, and how to make sure their quality remains intact from label delivery to its application?

 Feel free to book a discovery call with me at, and I will be happy to assist you.