How to Ship Artwork | Tips from Our Shipping Company



Works of art are one of the items that need to be handled with the greatest care during shipping. This is even more true when you consider that some works of art are centuries old or even millenniums.


Transport companies must take many precautions and work meticulously to ensure the safety and integrity of artwork shipped to the four corners of the globe.


Whether you are a collector, an artist, or a gallery owner, finding the right shipping company isn’t something to be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider, including the conditions of transport, the speed of the service, the shipping fees, and the reliability of the service.


How do you make sure that your artwork is shipped safely? At Globex Worldwide Courier, we specialize in art transportation and have everything needed to ship your art safely.


Things to consider before shipping a work of art


There is more to shipping works of art than just the shipping itself. Many important steps need to be taken before delicate items, like artwork, can be shipped.


Have the condition of the artwork assessed


It is important to know the condition of the artwork before it is shipped. Having it carefully inspected will reveal all the defects of the work (scratches, stains, perforations, etc.) and provide a detailed, signed report on its condition before departure.


This kind of official document is essential for both the owner of the work and the carrier. In the event of problems or breakage during transport, the carrier will be responsible for damages and will not be able to deny any damage done to the work. In other cases, the owner will not be able to claim damages that were present prior to the report. It is important to note that if no additional insurance is taken out, the carrier’s liability will be limited.



Pack the artwork carefully


Works of art are often priceless and require greater protection than more traditional shipments. The shipper must protect the artwork against shocks, deformations and temperature variations involved in international transport by air, ocean, or ground carriage.


There are many ways to protect artwork, such as protective corners made of various materials for paintings or prints or adding protective wrapping for a statue to protect it from the normal rigors of transport. In practice, three layers are generally used to protect the work. The first layer is made of a flexible material to cover the work. A second, thicker layer is used to absorb shocks. The last layer is rigid.


Finally, the work must be placed in a sealed container after packing. This container must be adapted to the type of artwork, its size, and its weight. These containers are often rigid and made of wood or heavy corrugated cardboard. They have a specific wedging system that limits vibrations to protect the work. An international courier will offer advice on packing your artwork and can even do it for you with the help of associated partners.


Prepare customs documents


The last step is to prepare the customs and pre-transport insurance documents. In most cases, art owners take out specific insurance to cover themselves in case of breakage, theft or loss. It is strongly recommended that you take out such insurance for international transport of your works of art, regardless of their value.


As far as customs are concerned, it is important to carefully follow the administrative procedures of the countries the artwork is travelling to. Artwork shipping is highly regulated. International customs services pay close attention to the transport and transit of these works. They do this in order to avoid illegal transit or trafficking of artworks on an international level. No need to panic, this is perfectly normal and is generally for your own good.


Some works of art must be declared to the customs authorities of the country of origin and in all cases to country of destination. In addition, customs fees may apply depending on the country and the value. We recommend checking with your shipping company to find out what the customs fees will be at destination.


Check with your shipping company, the Canadian customs service or the country in question to find out more about what you need to fill out and sign before shipping your artwork. Globex Courier provides a turnkey service and can help you prepare the customs documents. Contact us for more information.


Shipping the artwork


Once the preliminaries for shipping your artwork have been finalized, it’s time to focus on the shipping itself. Choosing a shipping company is an important step. At Globex Worldwide Courier, we offer a dedicated service to ensure that our clients’ artwork is properly shipped.


When choosing your carrier, make sure they have the expertise to ship this type of item.


How to choose the right company to ship your art


Choosing a shipping company for shipping your artwork internationally is no easy task. When dealing with such a valuable and important item, you should always work with a company that specializes in this type of service. Shipping companies typically offer an artwork transport service that includes packing, handling and delivery of such fragile and one-of-a kind items.


These companies have all the necessary equipment to guarantee the safety of your work. They have qualified and trained personnel, vehicles designed to limit shocks and vibrations, and everything is managed as efficiently as possible. As for insurance, experienced companies often have specific insurance policies for works of art.


Transport conditions for artwork


Your artwork is carefully packaged. The insurance and customs documents are signed, and your carrier has been chosen. All that’s left to do is to transport the artwork by air or other chosen modes to its destination.


All these conditions must be met during transport to ensure the work reaches its final destination without being mishandled.


What happens when the artwork is delivered?


Once the artwork arrives at its destination, it will be delivered to you, and you will be asked to sign for it. You will then have to make a report on the condition of the box to ensure that there is no apparent exterior damage to the shipping container, crate or box. If there is, you must report it immediately to the shipping company and take pictures. You should then unpack the box and make sure that the contents were not damaged during shipment.


In case of damage, the transport company could be held responsible. You can also use this time to check the authenticity documents of the artwork if it is a purchase.


Be especially careful during this assessment. You must declare the slightest deterioration or damage. This is important because once the report is made and signed, there is no turning back. If you later find that there is a dent or a hole in the work, it will be too late. If these damages have not been declared, the responsibility cannot be put on the carrier.


You should also know that Globex is the only transporter that offers real insurance guarantees in the event of a problem during transport of your artwork. Choosing Globex means choosing a shipping company that cares about your artwork and guarantees that it will be transported with complete peace of mind.




Trust Globex Courier’s expertise for the transportation of your works of art


Shipping a work of art is often a stressful time for the owners. These wonders have immeasurable cultural and sentimental value. Their shipment must be taken seriously, and many points must be checked and double-checked.


Contact Globex Courier to make your job easier. Our international courier company offers a service dedicated to transporting artwork in Montreal and around the world. Our expert staff will carefully transport your artwork within Canada or internationally. Our service includes packing, express transportation and assistance with customs documentation and insurance with certification.


Contact us now to obtain more information about our services – by email at or by phone in Montreal at (514)739-7977, Quebec at (418) 948-1712 or anywhere else at 1-800-359-2111.


Request a free quote for the transportation of your artwork.