These days, global supply chains are under enormous pressure, with costs skyrocketing with each new quarter. Art logistics is one of the victims of the growing disbalance. Shipping artworks is getting more and more expensive, to say nothing of other issues that have always been a stumbling block for many years. If you plan to transport your precious painting or sculpture abroad, you have to be aware of the difficulties that you might face while shipping artwork internationally. Get yourself prepared for certain uncertainties!
Seven difficulties you face while shipping artwork internationally
1. Customs clearance
The customs clearance process is the most challenging thing on your way to successful international delivery. It is difficult for two reasons: you have to go through a lot of bureaucracy and the fact that rules and regulations differ from country to country.
2. Unregulated costs
It might not feel like a daylight robbery if you ship items for your friends or family. However, if you plan to transport pieces regularly, you will most likely find it very unprofitable in the long run. High shipping prices are the number one cause of local art businesses staying aside from the international market.
3. Harsh environmental conditions
If it is air transportation, which is considered a safer option than sea transportation, your items will be exposed to a higher pressure, but a good crate can handle it. Shipping art by sea is more dangerous, so the freight must be well-protected against different scenarios.
4. Delayed or lost artworks
Even though such cases are rare, artworks can be lost, especially when there are documentation issues. Delayed shipment is a more common problem, especially nowadays when newer and newer problems arise.
5. Reliable packaging
Shipping artwork internationally is a big responsibility, and packers are the ones who shoulder it. Be very careful with the materials you use. Besides, pay attention to who you work with. Whether it is a shipping company or carpenters, make sure they are professionals.
6. Inadequate shipping help
If you fail to find experts who have had previous experience in shipping artwork internationally, you might get into serious trouble. You pay for the services to lighten your load. With amateurs, though, your problems might get even worse.
7. Over-optimistic expectations
Last but not least, people expect international shipping to be a walk in the park. Unlike local delivery, intercountry shipment is much more challenging because of a bigger number of variables that impact the process. Before you even start, make sure you are ready to face the problems quickly and effectively.