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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Art Tip Tuesday: Cost of Shipping & Insuring Fine Art


Three costs that will affect the price of shipping fine art

by Brittany Goodwin

Moving fine art is a delicate process, and one that needs to go perfectly — both for peace of mind and for the sake of the work itself. 

There are several reputable companies offering fine art shipping in New York City, but not all will disclose fees to the casual shopper. 

There are three main costs that will affect the total price of transporting fine art: crating, shipping fees and insurance. And depending on the piece, any of these could be the largest source of cost.

For example, a highly valuable but small piece of art will have high insurance costs but low crating and shipping charges. A large heavy piece like a statue or installation will have higher crating charges and much higher shipping costs. 

But in all cases, the total cost of properly transporting the artwork will be small compared to its value. 

Crating Fine Art

Fine art should be shipped in a special crate designed for this purpose. It should never be shipped in a regular box, even with padding, nor should it be shipped in a crate that is too large. The crate should match the size of the piece.
Related Story: The Artistry of Moving Art
For standard size paintings and small statues, pre-made crates are available. The price varies and ranges from $150 to $260. For larger or oddly sized pieces, a custom crate will need to be built, which an art mover can build upon request. 

Shipping Costs

Once the art is crated the piece can be shipped through a commercial carrier, including the U.S. Post Office, UPS and FedEx. Another option is to hire a transportation service that specializes in moving unique items. 

Hiring a fine art shipping service means professionals will manage artwork at all stages of the move. Costs can be in the low hundreds for a standard oil painting or the mid to high hundreds for a larger piece. For very large or heavy pieces, costs may run up to $10,000 but this is rare. When shipping within the United States, most art fees are well under $1,000.

Insuring Fine Art Shipment

Insurance is a must for all fine art moving. With the U.S. Post Office or UPS, expect to pay insurance on top of the shipping charge. 

With a professional mover, typical insurance is included in the shipping costs. Expect insurance to run approximately 1% of the total value of the piece. 

The best way to get a more precise estimate is to speak directly to a fine art shipper. Note that exact prices will depend on the piece.

Brittany Goodwin


Brittany Goodwin is a digital marketing professional and freelance writer in the Greater Philadelphia area. She enjoys traveling and loves learning new things. Goodwin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Rutgers University.

Keep up with Goodwin on LinkedIn
Follow her on Twitter @go0dwinbrittany
And Instagram @goodwinbrittany  
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