Considerations for Shipping Artwork in the Pacific Northwest

shipping artwork in crates in warehouse

When shipping artwork, professional expertise is often required. Large and heavy art pieces require specific considerations when choosing the best methods to crate, transport, and install art.

Art Work Fine Art Services has a long history of successfully completing complex specialized crating and transportation projects. Our team of expert art handlers has more than 30 years of experience and a track record of working with some of the most prestigious museums and galleries in the Pacific Northwest.

Considerations for Shipping Artwork

When shipping artwork, there are several decision points for engineering the best crating solution. Custom packaging and crating ensure that your artwork travels safely along the changing landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Below are considerations you should keep in mind when shipping artwork.

Precise Crate Measurements

The size of your artwork may require you to use custom crates. To accommodate unique sizes and shapes, precise measurements are needed to protect artwork in transit. For example, large framed paintings require crates with interior cushioningto protect the intricate frames and create space around the face of the work. Small and intricate pieces need specialized crates to prevent pieces from shifting during transit. Sculptures need custom crates that protect the unique shape of the piece. Large pieces should be packaged with transportation and installation in mind.

Weight and Support

During transport, art pieces should be well protected with internal and external support. When shipping artwork, a good crate will be form-fitting enough to prevent the artwork from moving around, but loose enough to allow artwork to be easily packaged and removed for art installations.

Fragility of Materials

Crates should be custom-built, and fitted to each piece’s unique shape, whether it be a painting, a sculpture, or an installation in many parts. Your transportation team should consider the materials used, and recommend the best solution for your unique work. Each requires unique packaging to protect the finish.

Related Article: Fine Art Collection Shipping in the Pacific Northwest

Options for Packaging While Shipping Artwork

Art Work FAS has fine art crating solutions that fit the artwork you need to transport. Those transporting particularly large and heavy artwork will benefit from custom, reinforced transportation crates that allow for easy packaging, shipping, and removal. From single-use to complex multi-use crates, our team of expert art handlers can accommodate your needs.

Repeated Use Crates

Crates for artwork should be reinforced and protected from moisture and air. Art Work Fine Art Services’ Museum and International Crates are built with ½” plywood construction, with all panels fully framed with ¾” battens, and all joints glued and stapled or screwed. The bolt and plate closure, two coats of exterior polyurethane sealant, and the foam gasket around the lid ensure that the crate is suited for multiple uses.

Travel Frames

Travel frames are good for oversized artwork because they are more economical. They can be used on their own, packed into crates, or used with internal foam bumpers that can keep the largest and heaviest pieces of artwork secure.

Learn more about our fine art transportation services.


Specialized Knowledge From Our Experts  

For nearly 30 years, Art Work Fine Art Services has served as the trusted logistics partner to some of America’s most highly-regarded museums, galleries, collectors, and artists. We specialize in custom solutions for domestic and international shipping, warehousing, and preservation of artwork. 

Our team is made up of passionate experts in many mediums, including design, painting, printmaking, carpentry, photography, and sculpture. Art Work FAS offers services in Portland and Seattle, in addition to California’s Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City, and across the Rocky Mountains.  

To request an estimate for shipping and transportation or to learn more about our services, contact us.