Transport art safely - this is how you can do it!

Have you purchased a work of art from your favorite artist and now hope that it will arrive safely or would you like to send your valuable art to a customer safely and well packaged? Maybe you're moving and you're not sure how to safely move your art collection, which has now grown a bit, from your old apartment to your new one? In this article you will find out what options there are when shipping art and what you need to keep in mind.

In fact, shipping and transporting art is sometimes a more complex matter . The starting points are of course always the type of work of art, the nature, the material and the size. While you can move an art print from point A to point B relatively easily, things are of course different with larger canvas paintings, installations or fragile sculptures. Before going into more detail about the options available to you for transport, it is important to note that shipping works of art via classic shipping services such as DHL, DPD, UPS & Co. is an option, but involves greater risks n with regard to damage to the works . In addition, there are usually clearly defined maximum dimensions . DHL, for example, offers the option of extending the maximum dimensions with bulky goods , but here too there is a restriction to one belt size (= L + 2xW + 2xH) up to 360 cm . If you are not sure whether your packaging measures and the choice of shipping company are suitable , professional transport of the works of art by a specialized shipping company is the only safe solution. Specialist staff not only have the necessary experience, but also the right packaging material and suitable vehicles for safe and smooth transport of art . In addition, a professional service usually comes with appropriate insurance , so you don't have to worry if damage actually occurs .

Packaging art safely – an art in itself

If you want to transport works of art privately because you are moving or planning an exhibition, it is best to proceed systematically and step by step. In order to guarantee the safe arrival of your art, you must be very careful when selecting the packaging material. Wool blankets, newspaper and the like, materials that are sufficient to secure most household items, do not serve their purpose here. It's best if you get the right materials for the size of the work of art well in advance of transporting the art. Depending on the type of art and the transport, these materials are only available in special specialist shops, but when packing, make sure not to save money at the wrong end, because a damaged or destroyed work of art will cost you much more than the perfect packaging material.

Pack images correctly and securely

Precisely fitting picture corners, foil, cardboard and wrapping paper cut to size make packing much easier for you. Especially for paintings with pasty paint application, make sure that there is enough space for the canvas. If the painted side of a canvas, which is stretched on a stretcher frame, rubs against the packaging material, small pieces will quickly break off or be dented. Not only should the painting, print or photograph have enough space in the intended transport box, the packaging should also ideally not come into contact with anything in the transport vehicle. Even with the best possible packaging, pressure in the wrong places can lead to unwanted damage. A custom-made wooden box is the least susceptible to damage. For example, very thick and robust cardboard boxes are also well suited. Tip for a second use in the interest of the environment: Just ask at your local bike shop. I have a cooperation with the company Bikings and regularly use the robust packaging from newly arrived bicycles to ship art.

Transporting works of art pay attention to the details

Transporting art correctly – it’s not always that easy, especially when you first try it . Only with the accumulated experience does a certain degree of security arise. It is better to plan a little more time for packing the works of art before transport and let us help you, especially with larger objects. The better prepared you are , the less likely there are unpleasant and unwanted surprises.

For example, remember to place the transport box you are using for a painting upright in the truck and also pay attention to the direction of travel . Finally , it is important to avoid excessive vibrations or excessive force caused by braking. Another detail that you should pay attention to when packing glazed frames concerns the bubble wrap, which is used in most cases. Save yourself the hassle of cleaning the glass by making sure that the flat side of the film is on the inside when packing. If the knobs are inside, they usually leave unsightly marks that can only be removed with great difficulty.

Another and sometimes even crucial detail that beginners rarely pay enough attention to is the temperature. Depending on what type of art is to be sent, a certain temperature limit must be adhered to. In the best case, the temperature during loading and transport deviates only a few degrees from the temperature of the rooms in which the work of art was previously stored or exhibited. Especially during the summer months, it is advisable to carry out the transport early in the morning or late in the evening. This is where the temperature is most consistent and most similar to that of your interior. A professional service provider for the transport of works of art often uses refrigerated transport vehicles that guarantee the perfect temperature at all times. When sending art, excessive temperature fluctuations often mean that cracks and cracks occur, especially with fragile media. Sometimes these are unfortunately irreparable.

Making sculptures transportable

When transporting works of art, safely packing sculptures is the ultimate discipline. Since there are practically no even surfaces, you have to think particularly anticipatory when packing. Where could pressure points occur or where do the strongest forces affect the sculpture while driving? If you ask yourself questions like these, you will usually be better able to adapt the packaging exactly to the work of art.
As with the paintings, the sculpture must be adequately surrounded by padding material before it is stored in a sturdy box of exactly the right size. The sculpture itself must not have any play in the box, and nothing inside must move even when the brakes are applied harder during transport. You place the box itself in the van, truck or car so that it cannot slip or bump into anything. Transporting art safely – that means planning for all eventualities and taking the longest route. This may make transport a little more expensive and take up a lot of your time, but a work of art that you hold dear will, in the best case scenario, stay with you throughout your entire life. As soon as you install your work of art correctly in the room in the new apartment or in a gallery, all the stress, effort and costs of transport are forgotten.

One conclusion - transport art safely


Transporting art correctly is an undertaking that must always be tailored precisely to the artwork. Every picture, every sculpture needs its own solution. The principle applies: more is more! As is known as “mise en place” in the catering industry, good preparation is also a crucial aspect of safe transport when shipping works of art. No compromises should be made here. Especially for larger works, it is advisable to allow a little more budget for shipping and to hire a professional service provider. He takes responsibility and brings his experienced team into play, which in most cases provides the right solution in terms of packaging and transport and thus guarantees that your beloved art arrives undamaged. The costs for transporting works of art naturally vary depending on weight and size. In general, you should expect a budget in the lower three-digit range. A little tip for finding suitable freight forwarding companies: There are now a lot of matching platforms (e.g. clicktrans ) on which you can search for suitable freight forwarding companies for the respective route.

Please feel free to contact me at any time using my contact form if you have specific questions about shipping works of art. Since I ship works of art not only within Germany but also worldwide, I usually have a suitable service provider available for safe transport or will be happy to give you further tips for the safe transport of your works.


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