The Art of Secure Transport

The Art of Secure Transport Quality Security Europe

A container of high-value goods may be worth millions of dollars. But for fine arts shippers, the cargo is often literally priceless. Rock-solid security, proper handling, and confirmed space bookings help ensure fine arts shipments safely reach their intended destinations, says Leroy Pettyjohn, vice president of the fine arts division at Memphis-based third-party logistics (3PL) provider Mallory Alexander International Logistics.

Take the example of a museum in the United States lending a work to a venue in Europe. First, the 3PL completes all export paperwork and books the accompanying courier's airline ticket and hotel reservation. Qualified art handlers pack the artwork in approved, museum-quality crates, which are loaded on a climate-controlled, dual-driver vehicle for transport to the airport. If the work is particularly large or heavy, transport also requires booking a crane or other special materials handling equipment for lifting, unloading, or placement, as well as oversize load permits to move it to the venue.

When the piece arrives at the airport, workers unload it, and TSA agents inspect it. The crate is then palletized or containerized under the 3PL agent's and courier's supervision, and placed in a safe part of the airline's warehouse. The courier may remain with the shipment, or return at an appointed preflight time to oversee workers loading the crate onto the plane.

The reverse occurs at the other end, with customs processing executed while the aircraft is en route. In Europe, a team of art handlers may manage the entire process: de-palletizing, loading, delivering, and unloading the work at the destination venue.

Every fine art move is a masterpiece of precise timing and coordinated efforts.

From: Inbound Logistics, A Thomas Company