Moving Framed Artwork: Shipping Boxes vs. Wood Crates

Shipping fine art is never easy. This delicate task requires loads of experience, extensive knowledge, natural skill, and certainly proper training, which makes it understandable why many artists, collectors, and dealers prefer to hire professional New York art moving companies rather than move valuables and collectibles on their own. However, the decision to order specialist moving services is not the only one you should make when it comes to relocating your precious possessions. While it goes without saying that you must use only high-quality packing materials, you still need to decide how exactly you want your belongings to be packed.

Obviously, you cannot pack a heavy antique sculpture into a cardboard box, just like it is not necessary to move a piece of vintage jewelry in a wood crate. However, if it comes to shipping paintings, you have several options. In general, almost any framed artwork can be transported in shipping boxes or custom wood crates. So what to choose?

At Fine Art Shippers, we have been providing professional packing and crating services for many years, and we can say with confidence that every packaging material has its strengths and weaknesses. Thereby, if you want to protect your framed artwork in transit, consider the following art shipping info.

Shipping boxes are the most common type of packaging material in the shipping industry. However, just like anything, they have both pros and cons.


  • Corrugated boxes are lightweight.
  • They are easy to handle, pack, and unpack.
  • They are available at very affordable prices.


  • Shipping boxes offer less protection as compared to crates.
  • They cannot be used for shipping heavy and large items.
  • They are not weatherproof unlike custom crates.

Wood crates tailored to a particular artwork are undoubtedly beneficial in many ways, but they also have several cons.


  • Custom wood crates offer the highest protection possible.
  • They are easy to customize and can be used for shipping items of any weight and size.
  • They are eco-friendly and much more durable.


  • Wood crates are usually pretty heavy.
  • They may require lifting equipment and special tools for unpacking.
  • Their cost is higher as compared to standard shipping boxes.

In general, when it comes to moving framed artwork, shipping boxes and wood crates are used alike so that you should consider all pros and cons when making a decision regarding which packing method to use. Plus, in many cases, you need to incorporate both of them if you want your valuables to be delivered safe and sound. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a professional art moving company beforehand.