Are you mesmerized by Monet or puzzled by Picasso? Well, then there’s a good chance that you’re an appreciator of art. While you probably don’t own work by these masters, there’s a good chance that you have some pieces in your collection.
If that’s the case, you may find yourself needing to ship artwork sometime. In this article, we’ll share tips for shipping art through FedEx. By the end, you’ll know how to ship and pack art, as well as what you can expect to pay for art shipping!
Can You Ship Art Through FedEx In 2023?
FedEx provides art shipping services for casual and professional shippers, however, the company only recommends shipping pieces valued at less than $1000. Pieces of artwork should be wrapped using bubble wrap, corner protectors, and filler paper. Prices depend on the weight and dimensions of the package, plus the distance to be shipped in 2023.
For even more details about shipping art through FedEx, such as how to properly package the artwork, how much it costs to ship, and more, keep reading this article!
How Do I Ship Art With FedEx?
There are two main steps to take when shipping art through FedEx. First, you’ll need to declare the artwork’s value, then you’ll need to pack and ship it at a FedEx Office location.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved in these steps.
In terms of declaring a piece of artwork’s value, FedEx recommends only shipping pieces that have a maximum declared value and a limit of liability of less than $1000.
If your piece is valued higher than that, or you need to ship museum-quality works, contact FedEx Custom Critical.
This service provides round-the-clock assistance, exclusive-use trucks, and additional care for your most valuable pieces.
Once you’ve determined your artwork’s value, pack and ship the item. We’ll provide more information about how to package art later in this article.
However, if you have any doubts, head to your nearest FedEx Office location for guidance regarding boxes, cushioning materials, and packing tips.
How Do I Pack Art for Shipping With FedEx?
How you pack art for shipping depends on the type of art you’re shipping. Here, we’ll share our best tips for shipping art prints, paintings, and sculptures.
Place prints in plastic sleeves to protect the artwork from any inclement weather your package might encounter during transit.
Next, add a foam board or a cardboard backing behind the art.
Afterward, insert the piece into a rigid envelope and place a “Do Not Bend” sticker on the outside of the envelope.
If you ship using a mailing tube, make sure the lids are taped shut and that there are no moving parts inside the tube when you shake it.
You can use crumpled-up newspaper near the ends of the tube to prevent the art from sliding around inside.
Paintings and Panel Art
Wrap paintings or panel art using a large polybag or stretch wrap. This will protect the piece from coming in contact with the cardboard, bubble wrap, or any filler you’re using.
Once the piece has been wrapped, attach corner protectors. You can make your own using small bubble wrap or purchase specially-made foam protectors.
Next, wrap the piece using large-size bubble wrap.
If the piece is particularly valuable, use cardboard or Styrofoam planks on both sides of the canvas for an additional layer of protection.
Place your item inside the box. Make sure you’re using a shipping box, not a moving box. Shipping boxes are much sturdier and are better suited for protecting art during shipping.
Before taping the box closed, add filler to ensure that the canvas doesn’t move around. You can use packing peanuts, air cushioning, or kraft paper.
Wrap pottery or sculptures in a polybag to protect the item from moisture.
Next, wrap the piece using newspaper and bubble wrap. Make sure there are at least 2” of cushioning on all sides of the piece if the item is fragile or of high value.
If you’re shipping several pieces of pottery or have items with sharp points or edges, consider wrapping the piece in foam sheets.
Place the item in a shipping box and fill any empty space with packing peanuts, newspaper, or air cushioning to prevent movement.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Painting With FedEx?
There are three main factors that affect the cost of shipping: package weight, dimensions, and the distance to be traveled.
With that in mind, small or medium-sized paintings on canvas usually cost between $10 to $50 to ship, depending on the size.
Aside from these basic factors, things like additional declared value (similar to insurance), fuel surcharge, and an additional handling fee could add $20 or more to the shipping cost.
There are additional costs to consider if you elect to use FedEx’s specially-designed art shipping boxes.
Framed art boxes cost $16 for a medium box or $18 for a large box. If you want to add the fragile packing option, the final cost is $22.49 for the medium box and $24.49 for the large box.
If your item is particularly valuable or fragile, you may elect to use an art box with the Airfloat system. These boxes have double-walled construction and 3 layers of shock-absorbing foam.
They range from $45 to $260 for the box alone, or from $60.49 to $260.00 for the fragile packaging option.
Shipping art through FedEx is a matter of knowing how much the piece is worth, packaging it carefully, and choosing which (if any) additional services to add. As long as you follow our advice, your piece should arrive in good condition at its destination.