How to ship artwork and valuables from the Pacific Northwest

Transporting artwork or valuables ranging from fragile to oversized is, well, a work of art itself. All the time, energy and creativity invested into creating high-value marquee items should be protected, especially when the masterpiece moves from the creator’s studio to its intended destination.


Because the process of shipping these assets can be a delicate affair, the right tools and plenty of expertise are necessary from a qualified custom-crate manufacturer. This way, your painting, sculpture, antique clock, luxury furniture, or other unique item arrives to its future owner in perfect shape.

cw crates shipping artwork valuables

How to start transporting art or marquee valuables

Shipping your item safely generally begins with the key critical foundation of a custom designed crate. It will ideally account for the item’s weight, delicateness, size, and protrusions.


Once that platform and sheathing are in place, a crating expert can assess all the potential break points and strength points to determine how best to pad, protect and brace the item. This is pivotal so that when the errant forklift driver or not-so-careful truck driver runs over a curb or slams on the brakes in traffic, your items still arrive at its destination unscathed.


Why a professional crating service company is the best option for shipping fine art

While the Post Office or private parcel services are great options for shipping most small, durable and inexpensive items, you take an oversized risk with your original art or high value sculpture bouncing around in a mail bag or on the back of a carrier’s truck.


Additionally, finding a shipping company that will insure original artwork or museum-worthy furniture can be a significant challenge. When it comes to collecting on a damaged shipment without using the right company’s services, you could find the shipper refusing to pay out on the damages because they will claim that you packaged the item poorly.


transporting gold tabernacle crate

Luckily, a professional crating and shipping firm will find insurance for your original artwork; otherwise, you might find that impossible.


How do I crate my artwork?

To custom make a crate for your artwork, we begin by asking questions about the delicateness, value, pickup point, final delivery location, and size of each piece to make sure we adequately protect it. Where possible, we try to provide a ballpark quote on crating, packaging, and shipping to help determine whether it makes sense to proceed.


If we are in range and you believe it makes sense to move ahead, then our next steps are typically the following:


1. Consultation and measurements

  • We ask for pictures and/or stop by to review the valuables.

  • We measure each piece and assess whether items can be combined or are better suited to package separately.


2. Create quote

  • We will give you the best price that considers the materials, including lumber with protective padding and equipment, as well as labor.

  • We then estimate the final outside dimensions and weight of each packaged item before searching for the most appropriate shipping company and insurance.


3. Package and crate items

  • We take the same care and attention as a top white glove transportation service because we understand how delicate and protected your items should be.


4. Begin shipping process

  • Depending on your specifications, we will send off your items by land, air, or sea, having the peace of mind that it has been packaged appropriately for the entirety of the shipping.


What kind of fragile items can you help me crate?

Our clients include many of the top original artists, custom furniture designers, and auctioneers in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene/Sandpoint area. One of them is artist Christy Branson, whose painting titled "Out of the Woods" (below) was one of the masterpieces we crated.

christy branson painting shipping crate

Our jobs range in cost from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. This is a condensed list of what we have shipped in the past.

  • Fine art

  • Antiques

  • Original art collections

  • Furniture and interior design pieces

  • Marble statues

  • Metal sculptures

  • Oversized artwork

  • Custom foosball tables


Types of crates we can produce for your valuables

Whatever you need your piece in, we can create it for you. These are the types of crates we have made in the past, and we’ll be more than happy to continue custom making one just for your needs:

  • Multi-use gallery crates

  • Museum crates

  • Knock-down crates

  • Slat crates

  • Hinged door and lid crates

  • Foam lined crates

  • Custom boxes

transport crate luxury delicate antique clock

If you don’t see what you need, please contact CW Crates & Pallets to custom-make the crate your item deserves. Or if you have any other questions about shipping or logistics, our superb staff will be more than happy to speak with you!

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