If you need to ship part of your art collection – between homes or on loan, perhaps – make sure you ask the right questions and get the right insurance to preserve the value of their investment.

10 Crucial Questions to Ask Before Putting Your Art into Shipping

1. Who will be my point of contact for the shipment? You should be assigned a point person to oversee the course of your shipment, door-to-door, nail-to-nail. This person should be available to answer any questions you may have, as well as gather important information from you about the shipment.

2. Are the people handling the shipment trained art handlers? Your shipper should not only be able to confirm that the staff is trained, but provide evidence and examples of such training.

3. How will the shipment tracked? GPS tracking should be standard for all fine art shipments.

4. What are the pertinent truck specifications? Climate control, air-ride, security systems?

5. If traveling by air, will my cargo be screened and by who? A handful of fine art shippers are Certified Cargo Screening Facilities, a TSA certification that allows the company to inspect and seal crates prior to air shipment. Those who do not have this certification must outsource to a 3rd party company, find out who that CCSF is and if their staff are trained to handle art (not all are!)

6. What are the contingency plans in place for inclement weather, cancelled flights, etc?

7. How will my object be packed prior to transport, and why? It is the responsibility of the shipper to know the best methods and materials to prepare your object for shipment. There are a wide range of options, from simple wooden boxes to museum-quality crates. Ask what their plan is and why.

8. What third-party carriers will be handling my artwork during shipment and how did you select them? Sometimes it is necessary to employ the services of a third-party carrier during a shipment. If this has to happen, you have the right to know who these people are, what their credentials are, and what their liability is for their portion of the service.

9. What documentation must be provided for customs? In the US and abroad, it’s important to discuss this early so you have time to gather any supporting documents you need.

10. What documentation will you provide me to show the shipment was safely delivered?

with thanks to Crozier Fine Arts