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13 March 2022

5 Top Tips To Safely Transport Your Art

Even if you think you have experience in handling fragile shipping, transporting valuable or luxury items is always a risk. Whether you’re moving art supplies to and from a studio, importing a new painting from overseas or delivering a piece of work to a new customer, transporting art safely and efficiently is a huge responsibility. Here are five top tips to take on board when transporting artwork plus a few things to consider before and after the packaging commences. 

Transporting Art

Use the right materials

Bubble wrap is an essential for art transportation. It can be used for wrapping the entire piece to prevent scratches and damage, as well as a void-fill resource to limit any movement during the journey. It is however, important to remember that some forms of artwork need to be wrapped with an inner layer before the bubble wrap is applied. This includes artwork created from oil paint or pastels. 

Another material to consider is the cardboard boxes you are using. These need to be the correct size, have good durability, sealed correctly and placed in the loading van accordingly. 

Shipping labels

Investing in specific shipping labels is a great way to communicate to those handling the parcel that they must do so with care. Labels might state handle with care, fragile or top load only. You may also take this into your own hands and create your own personalised label to be extra cautious. It might also be an idea to write a small description of the contents if you are, for example, moving to a new studio. 

Choose the right courier 

There are many courier’s who offer special delivery or industry specific services. Businesses such as Nationwide Courier Services will provide you with a same day media courier, offering both personalised care and efficient results. Choosing the right courier means you have confidence in knowing that they have the right resources, and capability of delivering your goods safely and securely. 

Custom crates 

Custom crates are used regularly in the process of transporting art. These crates offer plenty of support and protection whilst also making sure all your work stays together if needs be. Custom crates also offer a sturdy layer of protection, mostly used for overseas or cross country delivery. The best thing about custom crates is, they have endless options regarding the size and shape, these are also a great investment if you’re looking to store your art. 

Tracked and signed for delivery

As most artwork comes with a price tag, making sure you opt for tracked and signed delivery will ensure you know exactly where your parcel is and that it has got to the destination safely. This can also benefit you in the long run if you ever had an issue with a lost, stolen or damaged parcel. Having proof of transport, delivery and a customer signature shows you played your part in the process of buying or selling the goods. 

Here’s a quick check list of equipment to consider when shipping artwork:

  • Cardboard boxes of all sizes
  • Bubble wrap and tissue paper 
  • Masking tape
  • Packing tape
  • Shipping labels 
  • Brown packing paper
  • A crate if you need one 
  • Cleaning supplies 

Preparing Your Art For Transport

Although you might be all set in regards to packing up and loading your goods, getting yourself and the products ready beforehand is just as important as the actual packaging. Efficient preparation is crucial to ensure the safety of your art during and after relocation. 

One of the most important jobs to consider here is keeping your art clean, tidy and in the best condition possible. There’s no point wrapping up a painting which is covered in dust or has fingerprints all over the glass. Using a dry fibre cloth, make sure to wipe down all sides and crevices, doing so on a clean, up high surface. 

When packing art and other fragile products, many people opt for gloves to reduce any oil transfer. 

Storing Your Artwork 

Depending on your reasons for transporting the art, there may be some circumstances where you need a place to store it for a short or longer period of time. Finding and preparing your art for storage is paramount in this whole process as the last thing you want is for something to go wrong at the very last hurdle. 

One major thing to remember here, is to never store artwork in a dry or damp environment, remember to rack instead of stack and keep your art away from fluctuating temperatures. Here are a few other top tips to remember when storing your art. 

  • Choose a finished area
  • Good climate control
  • Check for dust and mould 
  • Make sure there is no exterior wall 
  • Have your own photo inventory 
  • Limited humidity 

About the Author:

Stacey O'Neill, Managing Director, Nationwide Courier Services - https://nationwidecourierserviceltd.co.uk/

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