Shipping fine art isn’t necessarily the easiest thing, but neither should it be a headache if you know what to do. If you are moving to a different state or even country, you don’t need to sell, donate, or store your artwork, you can actually safely ship it to your preferred destination.

If you want to ship your fine art, there are generally 2 options available to you:

  • Ship the artwork yourself
  • Hire specialist movers to ship the artwork for you

How to Ship the Artwork Yourself

Transporting fine art safely and effectively has been a problem that many people from all over the world have struggled with for a long time. How can you ship your artwork and make sure that it arrives intact, completely undamaged, and in the same condition as you sent it?

Just putting the artwork into shipping crates and sending it off isn’t your best option. When it comes to shipping, you must consider all kinds of environmental factors such as abrasions, impact, humidity, etc. that may damage your artwork.

Fortunately, you can employ various techniques for packaging, crating, and transporting your artwork that will ensure its stability as well as safe arrival at its destination. Here are 5 things you need to consider when packing and shipping your valuable artworks yourself.

  • Covering and Wrapping

Making sure that your artwork is properly covered and wrapped is the first step in packing your artwork safely. Inspect the artwork for any pre-existing condition issues and document them carefully. Next, use acid-free cloth to wrap each piece. Then, put the cloth wrapped artwork into a secondary wrapping of either bubble wrap or foam, then between 2 sheets of corrugated cardboard. If you will be shipping glass, ensure that you have an extra layer of protection in the form of glass-strengthening agents.

  • Containers

Containers used for shipping artwork are primarily shipping crates. It is important to ensure that you select an appropriate container for your artwork. Containers are available for all kinds of pieces, and you can account for size, shape, dimensions, item value, length of transit, fragility, and any other aspect of protection that you desire.

  • Padding

Once you have the proper wrapping and shipping crate, you need to ensure that you have enough padding in the form of polyethylene closed-cell foam or polyurethane open-celled foam. Ensure that the box is completely lined and that there’s very little room for your artwork to move around. Fill the box with packing peanuts if you are shipping a less fragile or smaller item and place the artwork in the middle.

  • Shipping

You need to look at the different transit options available for your artwork based on its value, sturdiness, weight, and dimension. The different transportation options you can use for your artwork include:

  • Air: It is the most expensive but the fastest option. It can be an excellent option for shipping your most valuable artwork since items typically pass through far fewer hands and packing is more secure.
  • Ground: You have many options when it comes to ground transport, with packing care and handle as well as tracking that varies from one carrier to the next and by level of service. You can find out what ground transport options are available to you by contacting your local carrier.

Climate: You need to account for climate conditions if necessary, but this will typically depend on the artwork. You can ask the shipping provider for the available climate control options.

  • Insurance

If you plan to ship your fine art by air as part of a larger consignment, it is important to check the freight handler’s insurance provisions and take out additional fine art insurance if necessary. You can insure items of lower value as part of the overall shipping fee.

How to Ship Your Artwork Professionally

If shipping your artwork yourself taking into consideration the points discussed above seem too complicated, or like too much work, you should consider hiring a reliable fine art moving company that has been in the business and has plenty of experience.

A reliable, trustworthy and experienced fine art shipping company provides custom packing, crating, transportation, and insurance. Their specialized staff have the experience required to ensure proper packing, and crating for your fine art to ensure that it reaches its intended destination exactly the way it was shipped.

Final Thoughts

Fine art is an investment that you need to protect. Your best bet to protect this investment is to hire an experienced fine art moving company to ship your artwork for you since it is far safer than doing it yourself. However, you shouldn’t choose just any company.

The best fine art shipping company is one that’s experienced, trustworthy, and reliable. If you choose such a company to ship your fine art, you can be sure that it will arrive in the same condition as you shipped it thus ensuring the security of your investment.


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