Relocation of artworks is a time-consuming and challenging process because pieces of art need special handling. Any experienced art handler will tell you that it is impossible to transport artworks without packing regardless of their size, type, or distance. So, the importance of packing is indisputable because it allows protecting the items from mechanical damages, humidity, and high temperatures. In this article, we describe the most popular types of fine art shipping containers used in different transportation companies.
Fine Art Shipping Containers: Types and Peculiarities
Professional art handlers prefer to use different types of fine art shipping containers because each of them has its own benefits. In general, two types of fine art shipping containers can be defined: cardboard boxes and wooden crates. Both types are commonly used in the sphere of artwork transportation because they help adequately protect valuable items.
Cardboard boxes are typically used for short-distance relocation. The main benefit of this type of packing is that cardboard boxes of different sizes are available, which makes it easier to select the right one for transportation. Moreover, cardboard is not heavy, and it is much easier to carry cardboard boxes compared to specialized shipping crates made of wood. Paintings can be shipped in two different ways: in the original frame if there is no necessity to repair or remove it, or without a frame if the original one should be repaired or changed. In the second case, a painting is usually transported in a special cardboard tube because, without its frame, the painting becomes too vulnerable. The main disadvantage of cardboard packing is that it cannot protect against moisture, which is damaging to paintings and antique wooden furniture. Moreover, cardboard boxes are not reusable, although it is not a problem given their relatively small price.
Wooden crates are considered the best variant of packing, especially for framed artworks. This type of fine art shipping containers protects against all possible harmful factors: moisture, dust, temperatures, and mechanical damages. Some artworks like, for example, sculptures, should be fixed during transportation to avoid shaking or sharp turning that can damage them. In this case, a wooden crate is the best solution for fixation, especially if it is filled with padding or other fillers. One more benefit of wooden crates is that all of them are created according to the size of an item, and they can be used many times. Therefore, this type of packing is considered the most commonly used among professional art shippers.