Before professional handlers ship artworks and antiques to the clients, they are obliged to ensure the full protection of the freight so that it is not damaged in transit. Cardboard boxes are the common and pretty much safe option in the majority of cases. With the right packing materials and techniques, they can be temporary safe containers for short- and long-distance transportation. However, there are occasions when their protective qualities are not enough. Usually, it concerns large-scale and heavy pieces or some especially fragile or expensive items. In such cases, shippers tend to use artwork shipping crates. If you think about such an option, you should know how effective they are in practice.
Artwork shipping crates and their protective qualities
When transported, art is constantly exposed to all kinds of external hazards, from slight and common dirt and dust to serious shock and moisture. Let’s assess how the parameters and characteristics of artwork shipping crates reduce or completely eliminate the ever-present moving threats.
Shock and vibration
While vibration is something inevitable, shock is caused either by negligence or by accident. Museum crates have a rigid and solid structure with a reliable closure system. Once a canvas or print is packed and sealed inside a container, it can withstand almost any amplitude of vibration and some mechanical damage.
Light and heat
Sunlight and heat are connected, but they are not the same. The former fades pigments and paints because the UV light can break down the chemical bonds of the color, while the latter may lead to brown spots, discoloration, and warping. With artwork shipping crates, which are fully enclosed, no rays will reach their contents. The same goes for any heating elements unless someone tries to burn a crate.
Water and moisture
Much water on canvases is a fiasco. Humidity is a less obvious reason for concern, and yet you shouldn’t underestimate its influence. Inside a container, pieces are surrounded by waterproof materials, which makes art storage rather comfortable.
Weather fluctuations and climate changes
Even though crates are not vacuum chambers, they have their own microclimate allowing them to keep objects safe from the dangers of the external environment. Again, it is an optimal protective layer against thermal exposure unless you plan to be very unprofessional with crates.
What else can they do?
Apart from being the safest possible protection for valuables of all types, artwork shipping crates also help movers streamline the transportation process and thus make pick-ups and deliveries much faster.