Shipping. A two-syllable noun that can become a 30-day nightmare for both sellers and buyers. However, there is help at hand and we’ve narrowed down the best UK-based shippers to help you navigate the journey from the fall of the auction gavel to the buyer’s home.

But before we dive into the list, here are some things to understand:

Prices - It is always worth remembering that shipping prices can vary considerably based on collection and delivery locations. For instance, shipping an artwork from London to a remote island off Scotland may be double the cost of shipping from London to New York.

White glove service - This is a premium service that often includes unpacking the item inside the recipient’s house and installing it in place.

Shipping documentation - International shipping will require varying levels of import and export documentation depending on the object and the shipping locations.

Recipient invoicing - This is when the recipient of the item pays for the shipping directly to the shipping company. If you are passing on the shipping cost to the buyer, this can help save you considerable time in creating your own invoices.

 

Transglobal Express

An aggregator that brings together a wide range of door-to-door international couriers such as DHL, FedEx and UPS.

Services provided: Instant quoting and collection
Services not included: Packing, art insurance, recipient invoicing, shipping documentation, white glove service.
Best for: Already packed, low value items.
Cost: Low cost.
Our tips: Make sure the item is well packed and, as with all shipping, you include a return address label.

www.transglobalexpress.co.uk

 

DHL

An international low cost courier that provides an option to add art insurance.

Services provided: Instant quoting, recipient invoicing (if you have an account), art insurance.
Services not included: Packing, shipping documentation, white glove service.
Best for: Already packed low value artworks.
Cost: Low cost.
Our tips: Make sure the item is well packed and, as with all shipping, you include a return address label.

www.send.dhlparcel.co.uk/quick-quote

 

Pack and Send

A UK-based franchise that offers a packing and courier service, both internationally and nationally.

Services provided: Collection, packing, insurance (including art insurance).
Services not included: Shipping documentation, white glove service, recipient invoicing.
Best for: Low value items that need packing.
Cost: Low cost (subject to the location of your nearest franchise).
Our tips: Pick up the phone and make friends with your local Pack and Send franchise to see how they can customise their shipping support to your auction.

www.packsend.co.uk

 

ARTA

A full-service fine art handler based in New York and London.

Services provided: Instant quoting, recipient invoicing, fine art insurance, packing, shipping documentation, white glove service including installation, shipping portal for recipients to track shipping status and receive notifications.
Services not included: None (but all services are optional).
Best for: Fine art, high value and uniquely shaped objects.
Cost: Premium cost - but for a service that takes care of all shipping logistics.
Our tips: Give them a call to see what bespoke shipping support they can offer you for your auction.

www.arta.io

 

Convelio

A full-service fine art handler based in Paris, London and New York.

Services provided: Instant quoting, recipient invoicing, fine art insurance, packing, shipping documentation, white glove service including installation, shipping portal for recipients to track shipping status and receive notifications.
Services not included: None (but all services are optional).
Best for: Fine art, high value and uniquely shaped objects.
Cost: Premium cost - but for a service that takes care of all shipping logistics.
Our tips: Give them a call to see what bespoke shipping support they can offer you for your auction.

www.convelio.com