It is well accepted that due to epitaxy matching, carbon nanotubes are good nucleating agent for linear polyethylene. We demonstrate that not only in the quiescent conditions but also at the relatively low shear rates the presence of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) accelerates the crystallization kinetics of polyethylene (PE). The influence of SWCNTs on the crystallization kinetics in the quiescent condition is followed with the help of rheological and differential scanning calorimetry studies. The influence of flow on the stretch of the polymer chain is probed using time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and is verified with the Deborah number. SAXS data indicates that the strong shearing conditions (shear rate > 50/s for 1 s) are requisite to form shish-kebab structure in the neat polymer. However, for the low shear (shear rate < 50/s for 1 s), the shish-kebab structure that arises due to chain orientation is enhanced in the presence of SWCNTs. The development of oriented structures in SWCNT/PE composites and their absence in the neat polymer under low shear rate indicates that the presence of SWCNTs plays a significant role in the chain orientation. Overall, the results manifest the influence of SWCNTs on chain relaxation of the polymer. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.