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Shipping Sculptures

Shipping Sculptures

Shipping a sculpture is a delicate and complex task that requires careful planning and reliable logistics.

Throughout history, sculptures have been an essential part of various cultures and civilizations, used for religious, ceremonial, decorative, and commemorative purposes. Today, sculptures remain a vital form of artistic expression, with artists exploring various styles and themes to convey their ideas and emotions in three-dimensional form.

Shipping sculptures is a delicate art in itself, requiring meticulous planning, expert handling, and a deep understanding of the intricacies involved in transporting these artistic masterpieces. Whether you are an artist looking to send your creation to a gallery or a collector aiming to acquire a cherished sculpture, the journey from the creator’s studio to its final destination demands utmost care to preserve its form and essence.

In this guide, we delve into the world of sculpture shipping, unraveling essential tips and best practices to ensure your precious artwork traverses vast distances with grace and arrives at its new abode unscathed, ready to inspire and captivate for generations to come.

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Shipping A Sculpture

Ship your Sculpture with FreightCenter

  • Expertise: At FreightCenter, we have extensive experience in handling diverse freight shipments. Our team of logistics professionals understands the unique requirements, and we work diligently to provide tailored solutions that meet your specific needs.


  • Nationwide Coverage: We offer nationwide coverage, allowing you to ship to any location within the United States. Our extensive network of carriers ensures that we can facilitate pickups and deliveries in even the most remote areas.


  • Reliable Carriers: We partner with a network of trusted carriers specializing in hauling. These carriers are equipped with the equipment and expertise to safely and securely handle shipments throughout transportation.


  • Competitive Rates: FreightCenter is committed to providing cost-effective shipping solutions. We leverage our relationships with carriers to negotiate competitive rates, helping you save on transportation costs while maintaining the quality and reliability of our services.
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25 Years In Business
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The Journey of a Masterpiece: Shipping Your Sculpture with Care

When shipping a sculpture, 3 crucial factors demand careful consideration to ensure a safe and successful journey. First and foremost, keeping the work upright during transit is essential to prevent any distortion or damage to the piece’s intended presentation. Additionally, safeguarding the artwork from shaking or jostling is crucial to preserve its structural integrity and delicate details. Equally important is protecting the artwork from impacts that may result from bumping or accidental dropping, as such incidents could result in irreversible harm. By addressing these primary concerns with diligence and appropriate packing techniques, artists and collectors can rest assured that their 3D masterpieces will reach their destination unharmed, ready to be admired and appreciated.

The Trick to Packaging Sculptures

Packing a sculpture requires meticulous attention to detail and the use of specialized techniques to prepare it for transport. Here is a brief step-by-step guide to lead you to success.

Step 1: Protect Your Artwork

Begin by wrapping the sculpture carefully and methodically with bubble wrap, ensuring that every contour and intricate detail of the artwork is covered and protected. Pay special attention to delicate areas and fragile protrusions, providing extra layers of bubble wrap or padding if needed. As you wrap, gently press the bubble wrap against the sculpture to create a snug fit and ensure it adheres securely. Use high-quality packing tape to seal the bubble wrap’s edges and seams, ensuring it stays in place throughout the shipping or storage process. The bubble wrap should create a soft and cushioned layer around the sculpture, safeguarding it from any potential impact or jostling during transit.

Shipping Sculptures

Step 2: Prepare Your Box or Crate

Cardboard Box

When preparing your box for shipping, ensure it is several inches larger than your sculpture on all sides to provide adequate protection against impact. Begin by filling the bottom of the box with several inches of your chosen packing material. While packing peanuts are commonly used, some shipping professionals recommend tightly packed shredded paper to prevent shifting during transit, especially for delicate or intricate sculptures. The packing material should be firmly packed to create a stable base that will securely hold the sculpture in place.

Wooden Crate

For heavier and larger works, you will need a wooden crate. Wooden crates can be custom-built to precisely fit the dimensions of your sculpture, minimizing movement and shifting inside the container. The additional layers of cushioning and padding within a wooden crate create a snug and secure environment, ensuring that your sculpture remains well-preserved and intact throughout its journey. Once you have obtained your wooden box, whether through purchase or construction, prepare its interior using the same careful approach as you would with the cardboard box.

Step 3: Fill and Seal the Box

Once the bottom is filled, carefully position the sculpture in the center of the box. Once it is inside, take a moment to inspect the placement to ensure it fits snugly and securely within the packaging. Add more packing material around the sculpture, gently filling the empty spaces to restrict movement.

Be thorough in your approach, gently pressing the packing material to create a supportive and protective layer around the sculpture. However, it is important to avoid overstuffing the box, as excessive pressure could potentially damage the sculpture. The goal is to create a stable and well-padded environment that minimizes any movement inside the box while allowing for a slight compression to hold the sculpture securely in place. Finally, tape the box shut.

Shipping Sculptures

Step 4: Choose The Double Box Method

The double box method provides an extra layer of protection for your precious artwork during shipping. After securely packing the sculpture in the primary box described above, carefully place this box inside a larger, sturdy box, ensuring a gap of a few inches between the two boxes. This gap will act as a buffer zone, absorbing any external impacts and shocks during transit.

Fill this space generously with packing peanuts, foam padding, or bubble wrap to create an additional layer of cushioning around the primary box. The key is to create a snug fit between the two boxes, ensuring the primary box is surrounded by the packing material on all sides. This extra layer of protection enhances the sculpture’s ability to withstand any rough handling or accidental drops that may occur during transportation.

Step 5: Mark Your Box

Properly marking the box is crucial to ensure the careful handling of your sculpture during its journey. Use bold and legible lettering to clearly mark the box as “Fragile” or “Handle with Care,” drawing attention to the delicate nature of its contents. Place these markings on multiple sides of the box to increase visibility. Additionally, include arrows pointing upwards to indicate the correct upright position of the box. This helps shipping carriers and handlers identify the proper orientation, reducing the risk of mishandling and accidental impacts. Adding these detailed markings provides important visual cues to everyone involved in the shipping process, emphasizing the need for gentle and cautious treatment of your artwork.

Shipping Sculptures

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Shipping Sculptures FAQ


Q. How to package sculptures for shipping?


To package sculptures for shipping, use foam to create a secure nest. Cut two pieces of foam to fit snugly inside a wooden crate. Place your sculpture between the thick foam pieces to prevent movement. This ensures the sculpture is protected and minimizes the risk of damage during transit.

Q. How are large sculptures transported?


Large sculptures are transported in custom-built crates with special protective materials. Moving them requires appropriate trucks, lifting belts, and sometimes cranes for hefty pieces. Using professional equipment ensures the sculpture’s safe relocation.

Q. Do I need freight insurance when shipping statues?


It is recommended that you find an insurance provider that covers fine art. Most carriers list fine art as a commodity for which they will have no liability when shipped.

Q. How do you ship ceramic sculptures?


Begin by lining a robust box with Styrofoam sheets, ensuring optimal protection for your artwork during transit. Alternatively, utilize regular upholstery foam or Styrofoam peanuts for added cushioning. If opting for peanuts, start by lining the bottom of the box, then carefully place the second box and fill any remaining gaps with peanuts. Remember, double boxing is the industry standard for shipping artwork, providing an extra layer of security for valuable pieces.

Q. What is the best box for shipping fragile items?


Selecting durable box materials is crucial for safeguarding your fragile items during shipping. Consider various options, opting for heavy-duty materials like corrugated cardboard with a thick flute. The ‘flute’ in corrugated cardboard refers to the wavy inner layer that provides cushioning and strength. Corrugated cardboard, consisting of three layers — an inner liner, an outer liner, and a fluted layer in between — provides exceptional strength and protection for your valuables throughout the shipping process.

Why Ship With FreightCenter?

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25+ Years in Business

Our knowledge of freight is built on 25 + years of experience and dedication to helping customers with their shipping needs.

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FreightCenter Rewards

Get rewarded for shipping with us beyond our discounted rates. Every dollar you spend you get one point. Save up your points and redeem them for cool rewards like drones and coffee makers.

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Vast Service Offering

With a vast network of carriers, advanced technology, and dedicated customer support, FreightCenter simplifies the complexities of logistics, empowering businesses to streamline their supply chains and achieve their shipping goals with ease.