Whether you are the owner of a gallery or the artist trying to sell artwork, shipping artwork without actually knowing how to can be very stressful. The last thing you want is for the art to arrive damaged or late, or not even arrive at all.

Each kind of work brings its own set of challenges – sculptures are different to paintings which are different antiques. Not to mention weather conditions or the journey itself. There is careful consideration to be made about multiple things involved in the shipping process.

We want you to be confident sending your artwork to a different location so we’ve created this post as a guide for shipping paintings.

Preparing Artwork for Shipment

To ship artwork the right way, you need the right equipment for efficient and proper packaging.

1.     Getting The Right Materials

Securing the right packaging materials for each artwork you’re shipping is the first place to start. Though the majority of supplies can be used for all artwork, like packing paper and protection wrap, but there are some specific materials necessary for each work. Like corner protection. Great for paintings, not really handy for sculptures.

2.     Preparations

Once you’ve prepared the right materials for each type of artwork, you need to follow through with some necessary steps. For instance, taking photos of the work from all angles. It’s important to do this as it serves as evidence of the condition of your art piece before it’s shipped. And if your work gets damaged in any way on the journey, you can use the photos for insurance.

3.     Packaging Protection

Works of art can be delicate – think sculptures and canvas pieces. So when it comes to packing them, they each need the most adequate and cushioning protection. Usually, wrapping the piece with paper, always acid-free, before placing it in the right sized box or bag is common practice.

Adding different things to the packaging is done sometimes depending on the piece you’re providing cushioning for. Like canvases and sculptures may need bubble wrap or cling film as well as cardboard padding. Not just for immediate protection but to also pack the empty space of the box around the art work.

Then, when you pack your artwork, you need to make sure it’s secured in it’s box or envelope so that it doesn’t move around. This can cause the art pieces to sustain damage during the shipment.

4.     Shipping Art Work

Make sure all edges and seams of boxes and envelopes are properly taped with high-quality tape that is also moisture-resistant. If moisture gets in the seams of your box, it can damage the artwork inside so this feature of the tape is important.

You should also think about using ‘FRAGILE’ and ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’ stickers. Maybe even ‘THIS WAY UP’ ones, too, depending on what the piece you’re shipping is. ‘DO NOT BEND’ stickers especially for prints or pieces done on anything susceptible to bending easily.

Courier Options for Art Shipment

Ensuring that the staff driving the transportation vehicles are quality – reliable and dependable – transport logistics recruitment is recommended.

There are a number of couriers you can rely on to help ship your artwork, nationally and internationally.

Royal Mail

The UK’s main service for sending letters and parcels pretty much anywhere. Because they offer both national and international shipment options, and with a range of prices.

A sender mailing nationally can choose between Special Delivery Guaranteed options, which are the most expensive services. Depending on which you choose, your parcel is guaranteed to be delivered either by 9AM or 1PM the following day. It also offers full tracking and requires a signature on delivery to confirm the right person has received it.

They also have first and second class options and other parcel tracking services. You can view all the UK services and prices on the website.

They have multiple international services also, including tracked, standard, and a sign-for service. View all international services and prices here. But remember to check the country guides. Though Royal Mail can send mail and parcels to more than 230 countries and territories, each will have its own restrictions and prohibited items guide.

Aardvark Art Transportation Services

With over 20 years of experience transporting fine art and antiques securely, Aardvark Art Services offers first-class courier services. Services that bring peace of mind to artists, private collectors, art dealers, museums, galleries, and auctioneers when they need to relocate their pieces.

Fine Art Courier Service

We offer a nationwide door-to-door service for every single one of our customers. Our all-day deliveries start from 8AM to 7PM mean that our team can get your art to its new home efficiently and quickly.

The vans we use are specially adapted meaning they are unmarked and satellite tracked to ensure that they always arrive safely. It can be an entire exhibition or just a single piece, but we’ll get it where it needs to be. And we’ll do it securely.

Antique Courier Service

We can help you transport your irreplaceable antiques, too! Our transportation services is suited for antiques of all shapes and sizes so you don’t have to worry about suitability. Everything will be professionally handled by us, including packaging your antique before transporting it in our custom vans.

Put Your Trust in AAS

We are expert art movers, with an expert transportation service. Trust us to move your pieces from location A to location B hassle-free, damage-free, and with ease.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Aardvark if you want more information about our antique and fine art shipping services.