What Are Art Logistics Companies, and What Is Their Role in the Current Art Market?

What Are Art Logistics Companies, and What Is Their Role in the Current Art Market

Logistics is a crucial part of almost any business as it comprises a major part of supply chain management. While logistics is generally considered an additional service, it can also be a business endeavor on its own. Companies that provide logistics services to private clients and other businesses specialize in various niches. There are as many types of logistics services as there are kinds of goods and items that need to be transported and handled.

The art industry is an ecosystem that functions thanks to all of its constituents. These include those who sell art, those who buy it, and those who ensure the sales happen — art dealers, auction houses, galleries, collectors, and artists would have a hard time finding each other without art appraisal, restoration, preservation, and, of course, logistics services.

When it comes to handling expensive and valuable pieces of art, antiques, and other fragile and breakable items, many opt for the help of companies that specifically focus on transporting artworks. For example, shipping an antique 19th-century Christian icon by mail is irresponsible at best. The reason why art logistics companies exist is simple: fine art and antique items require a lot of maintenance that can only be given by professionals. Most regular moving companies do not have the equipment and experience that are necessary to handle delicate pieces.handle delicate pieces

But what makes a reliable art logistics company? First of all, one has to understand that apart from shipping, art handlers provide a vast variety of art-related services that are an irreplaceable part of making sure the transit goes smoothly and efficiently.


Transportation is the main service that art logistics companies offer, but it is not as simple as loading a piece of art into a truck. Any item that is being relocated across the country or overseas must be protected from the harmful influences of the outside world. This means that even if an artwork is safely wrapped in a hundred layers, the vehicle still plays a significant part in ensuring its safety. Professional art logistics companies use art trucks designed so that moisture, cold, heat, and direct sunlight cannot get inside and affect the items it carries.


This is another safety measure, but its importance cannot be overstated. It might seem like there is no use in hiring experts to pack your items for you, but you could not be more wrong. While in some cases regular bubble wrap and a cardboard box will suffice, more often than not that is not the case when shipping delicate artworks and antiques. You might even end up needing a custom-made wooden crate for some of your larger valuables, and that is something an amateur cannot build at home with materials at hand. Moreover, all items require an individual approach, be it an antique piece of furniture, a canvas by a contemporary artist, or your grandmother’s favorite china set. There are no universal rules and sometimes professional expertise is required to find the right solution.


Storage is a less obvious but no less important service that art logistics companies offer to their clients. If stored improperly, delicate pieces can be damaged and ruined forever, so all art storage facilities must undergo a strict inspection. Storage units are often used by art galleries and museums that want to change the exposition and need a place to hold the artwork that is not currently being displayed. Private collectors might find art storage helpful when moving or doing renovations — that way, they can keep their valuables somewhere safe for the time being.

Art logistics service providers could be considered the backbone of the art industry. Without well-oiled transportation mechanisms, there would be no way of selling artwork from big art hubs to other parts of the world, which would significantly limit the reach of the market. Mobility and flexibility are extremely important qualities for any business, so being able to deliver items efficiently anywhere in the world is crucial. In addition, the art industry constantly deals with luxury items that only experienced professionals can handle.

Whether you are a seasoned collector with hundreds of items in your possession or an art lover just starting your collecting journey, you can benefit from enlisting help from a reliable art logistics company. The market is currently full of service providers that are working hard to attract clients, so it is important to weigh the pros and cons and make a well-thought-out decision. Understandably, you will want to find a perfect balance between quality and price, but you should never stint on art. Be it an investment asset or a trinket that holds sentimental value — all your possessions deserve to be handled with care and respect.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.