Art galleries, by the very nature of their business frequently need to ship a lot of art, to a lot of different places. Each piece of artwork presents its own unique challenges for packing and shipping, and they frequently require a bespoke, custom built packing solution to ensure its safe transit and final delivery. But sometimes, finding the perfect solution for our customers requires a little more lateral thinking…
The medium of the artwork will often dictate the starting point for transit safe packaging. For example, ceramic sculptures will usually require securing within a wooden crate or hard transit case to prevent movement in transit. Paintings can be soft wrapped if they are being delivered in a dedicated van from point A to B, but will require a rigid crate if any part of their journey relies on a courier or 3rd party service. Sometimes however, a more holistic approach to a client’s needs can bring about a better solution for all involved.
Ceramic Sculptures – Foam lined, custom built crate – you can read more about this particular delivery on our blog ‘Fine Art Shipping – it’s a delicate business’ here.
We had an art gallery client in Ireland who frequently shipped original oil paintings in between Dublin and London, and a similar number of artworks made the return journey back to her gallery. Each time she was arranging a custom crate, made to measure for each individual piece of work. Undoubtably this was an exceptionally safe way to do it – but it was getting quite expensive as the number of paintings gradually increased.
Wayne, our Founder and Managing Director, discussed the growing costs and their requirements with the gallery owner and realised that whilst all the paintings were not exactly the same size, there was a maximum size being shipped while the depth remained fairly standard. Also that in some months there were numerous crates being shipped in both directions. Wayne realised that there was a solution that would save the customer money on the manufacture of individual crates and keep the contents safe at the same time. The ideal solution was a flexible multi-purpose, multi-use custom made shipping crate that could be used for multiple paintings at the same time –introducing the ‘Transit Frame’ as it is easier to call it!
Working carefully to the maximum and minimum dimensions and allowing sufficient depth to cover all eventualities, Wayne created the design and arranged the manufacture of this masterpiece of a shipping crate.
Standing nearly 1.5m tall, it features internal slats to keep the individually soft wrapped paintings safely in place. It can accommodate numerous large, medium and small paintings in any combination, all in a single shipment. Most of the vertical slats can be removed if extra width is required to accomodate a particular piece of art, or a different configuration is needed.
The beauty of this crate is it can be reused over and over again, and the sizing is flexible enough to accommodate the vast majority of their needs within a single crate. Which means they are saving with every shipment when the crate is reused. To prevent damage to the crate, rather than screwing the end piece on after each use, it was fitted with clips that could be secured for transit, but again helped the crate be reused over time, without the frame splitting or losing its integrity. Another benefit to this design was the speed of loading and unloading for the gallery – it removed the delays created by the necessary wait while crates were built for them, and it coudl be turned around very quickly without them involving any 3rd parties.
This is just one example of the care, thought and attention to detail that we put into finding the right art shipping solutions for our customers. Each piece artwork is unique and so that’s how we approach every single art packing and shipping consignment.
Have you got any fine art shipping needs that may require a specialist or innovative solution for shipping? We are experts in Fine Art Shipping and Logistics and can help with everything from packing, shipping, unpacking to installing – contact us today to let us know how we can help.
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