Consequences of Too Big Crates


Having a great experience in packing and crating of art objects, we can say with confidence that in most cases too big crates are a bad choice, especially if you need to ship your artwork internationally. At Fine Art Shippers, we have repeatedly faced the problem when the artist trying to save money on shipping costs builds the crate himself. And what does he do? Right, he packs all his artworks in one big crate. So what are the consequences of such a crate? Lets’ see!

Risk of damage. It may seem that situations causing damage often happen during the transportation process itself. However, it is not quite right. The highest risk of damage is related to packing and especially unpacking processes. The fact is that a lot of artists to accommodate all their works together create the so-called big sectioned crates that usually have a high center of gravity. As the result, such creates are rather difficult to unpack that leads to irreversible consequences. Quite often, the recipient doesn’t even perceive where all your artworks are located and opens the wrong side of the crate. What’s more, in such constructions, cardboard and foam can be even mistaken for the wall of the crate. We know the situations when the recipient threw the crate still holding very small works of art into the trash! In this way, whatever crate you have, please include a packing sheet not only with details of its contents but also with unpacking instructions.

Access. Please do not forget that a downtown gallery, an office building, a corporate location, or any other business may not have wide receiving doors or a dock – just an average doorway that is 30 or so inches in width. It means that your giant crate may not even fit through it! Do you want to unpack the crate right there next to the doorway? Probably not! Another one problem is what the recipient should do with your crate? Most likely he doesn’t have a store room for it!

Handling and weight. Too big crates usually cost more at every stage of the handling and shipping processes. Moreover, if they are additionally very heavy, it can be dangerous to move them. So such items won’t be hand carried or even dollied. In most of the cases, they will be fork lifted that may increase the risk of damage.

Height. You should know that depending upon the equipment flown, most of the airlines have height cutoffs of approximately 60-63″. If you have a crate above this height, then you will have to book on a freighter that eventually will give you much fewer options of flights. What’s more, these flights will probably be more expensive. Besides, you will have to wait until the required space is available. Surely, this is the normal procedure if you need to ship a large sculpture or an installation piece, but if you can avoid this – why not to do it?

These are only a few of all possible consequences of too big crates. Let’s not forget about the fright cost and the process of return shipping when you may have to ship a huge half empty crate back. In this way, please call us before you build a crate, and we will try to save your money and time!