How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Painting?

Last Updated on December 11, 2021 by

If you’re a collector and you’ve found a piece of art that appeals to you and you are in love with it, the last thing you would like to do is take it off and leave it to be forgotten when you move. When you’re an artist or have a gallery to run one of the last things that you want is to lose a sale due to the fact that you’re unable to deliver the painting to your potential customer, or more importantly, for your work to be damaged when it arrives.

If you’re a collector curator or artist, shipping artwork can be a hassle and stressful. The best way to ship paintings safely is to wrap them correctly and work with experts who have the expertise to treat these precious, sentimental objects with the respect they deserve.

how much does it cost to ship a painting

There are many methods to transport one painting or a larger collection across the nation. The experts in shipping at TSI will be there to assist. Learn our comprehensive art shipping manual to find out about five ways to send paintings.

You can also jump straight to specific considerations and crucial tips for shipping paintings along with step-by-step instructions for packing fine art click the menu to the left.

1. How To Ship Paintings

Whatever size or old your artwork is, they are delicate and frequently very sentimental. That can cause them to be difficult to ship or move, particularly when you’re moving a long distance. If you’re moving a long distance and would like to ship your art over the border, there are five choices:

  1. Hire a truck to move yourself
  2. Find movers with experience
  3. Parcel shipping, for example UPS or FedEx
  4. Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping
  5. Consolidated freight

I. I. Rent a truck and relocate yourself

Moving by renting a truck is usually the preferred method of preference for short or small-distance moves. In the event that you haven’t a lot to move, don’t need to travel far, and you’re physically able to handle your loading process and unloading (with assistance from your family members, friends, or even employees) then this option is likely to be the most cost-effective option.

If you’re able to fit it in your car, putting your artwork into the car is the most secure method to transport your artwork in a DIY move. It will be easier to regulate temperature as well as the ability to monitor your artwork during the removal process.

how much does it cost to ship a painting internationally

Paintings are loaded onto the moving vehicle

If you’re not able to fit them for your paintings could be stuffed into the moving truck wherever they’ll fit as they’re secure and not subject to the pressure of either. Make sure your artwork is safe in the course of a DIY moving by following these steps:

  • Always put paintings in a standing position rather than lying down. They are more likely to be damaged when they’re lying down.
  • If you’re able to put them in between two couches, mattresses or upholstered furniture. Or any other heavy, large items that have been secured to prevent them from shifting when moving.
  • Avoid putting paintings in a place in which something might fall on them.

How much will it cost to hire the truck to transfer your paintings?

The total cost for moving yourself is contingent on the size of the vehicle you rent and the distance you move. You’ll be charged a daily rate determined by the size of the vehicle, as well the fuel and mileage costs as well as any additional costs for moving equipment and insurance. If you’re moving a long distance it is possible that you will have to pay an additional fee to leave the vehicle you rented in a different location than the one you picked up.

  • The day rates generally range from $19.99-$29.99 each day, for a truck 10′-17 and $29.99-$39.99 for 20′-26′ trucks.
  • The average mileage is $0.69-$0.79 per mile on weektime and all the way to $0.99 for a mile during weekends, and could be higher during the peak moving season.

II. Hiring professionals to move your business

Professional movers are an ideal option for larger moves locally and also for people who are unable to move or don’t want the stress of unloading and loading their possessions.

If you do not purchase packing and moving services or other packing services, your professional team will likely not pack your paintings as they would other furniture. Make sure to specify your collection of artwork when you contact them for estimates so they can provide a precise cost and provide you with packing requirements prior to their arrival.

If you are hiring professionals to move your paintings, it might be best to relocate your artwork in your car as much as you can. The moving truck may not be temperature-controlled, and you’ll be able to keep a watchful eye over your treasured paintings en route.


What is the cost to employ movers who are professional?

According to the American Moving and Storage Association estimates that the average move locally costs about $2300, whereas the typical long-distance move is approximately $4,300.

The price of your move will ultimately be determined by the amount of stuff you own and how far away you’re moving. Certain moving companies base their costs on distances, while others are more focused on the amount of stuff you own. If you’re thinking of hiring movers who are professional, obtain a quotation from at least three different moving firms before making a decision.

III. Parcel shipping (FedEx, USPS, UPS)

Shipping parcels are offered by well-known companies like USPS and UPS, as well as private courier firms such as FedEx or UPS. Delivery options that are express are readily available as well as you may be able to include packing services for a fee.

The delivery of parcels is a common shipping option for gallery and artist owners. It’s an option for those who are planning a move for their household that have only a handful of items to send. If you have a substantial collection or massive quantities, consolidating freight is usually the best choice.

If you are shipping artwork via courier services for parcels, you have to be conscious that you are shipping “dimensional weight”. The cost of parcels is usually according to how much they weigh, however, the space they take on the truck could influence the price of your delivery, particularly in the case of large objects such as paintings. Dimensional weight is a better indicator of the volume of your item or the space it occupies around the actual weight.

If you’re only carrying just a handful of paintings to ship and you’ve got space in your car, moving your artwork by yourself can help you save money and relieve the anxiety of waiting for your shipment to arrive intact.


How much will shipping parcels cost?

The cost of shipping parcels depends on the quality of service you select. The cost of shipping a painting is typically between $50 and $300 per box according to the rate of transport and the packing method that you use. Sending artwork tubes is typically less expensive than shipping boxes or crated art, which ranges between $75 and $200 per tube. The next day or expedited shipping is more expensive than regular ground transportation regardless of how they are packaged.

IV. Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping

Peer-to-peer or rideshare is like carpooling for the transport of your cargo. When you list your cargo through an online marketplace, potential shipping partners heading in the correct direction will bid on your package. It could be a road tripper or a truck owner/operator or even a bigger logistics firm. It’s your responsibility to evaluate the options available and then negotiate the shipping price.

The process of selecting a peer-to-peer shipping service is particularly important when shipping artwork. Any shipping company is required to be competent to handle the delicate items as well as be able to offer an environment for safe transport that will minimize the risk of causing damage to the artwork, including temperature control.

What is the take to send a picture using peer-to peer shipping?

Peer-to-peer shipping costs vary and are usually subject to negotiation depending on what size of the painting and the number of pieces you’re shipping, as well as the amount of involvement you’re looking for from your shipping provider. The majority of paintings shipped via peer-to-peer shipping networks will cost between $175 and $175 for small, single-pieces, and up to $1,000 for larger works or collections.

V. Consolidated freight

If you send your painting(s) by consolidated freight, your painting will be shared on the truck along with other shipments going to the exact same destination. The only cost you pay is the space your item occupies within the container, which will help to keep costs down particularly for large collections.

Consolidated freight services are only provided by insured and licensed shipping businesses. The most reliable freight consolidators can connect you to an experienced shipping firm that specializes in the transportation of paintings and other artwork. This could include:

  • Temperature-controlled vehicles
  • Hand-loading and unloading (instead of using a forklift)
  • Different levels of service, like white glove packing services make sure that your artwork is properly packed and crated.

How much will it cost to transport an art work with the consolidated freight method?

The cost for shipping an artwork (or an entire series of works) by consolidating freight will be contingent on the level of service you decide to use. If you are able to pack your artwork yourself, consolidating freight options can be just $375.

If your work is particularly precious or delicate, or sentimental You’ll require white-glove services. With crating, white-glove is typically priced between $900 and $1000 but is much more secure than an ordinary LTL shipping system. Instead of being unloaded and loaded by a forklift artwork will be transported with ease by expert art moving professionals.

4. Special Considerations for Shipping Paintings

If you’re searching for the most effective way to deliver paintings, you’re likely to fall into one of two categories:

  1. Collectors Are you moving, whether locally or over a long distance, and require assistance with moving your paintings to the new location. In this instance you could require help in moving a single painting or perhaps a collection of paintings.
  2. Gallery owners or artists: You’re an artist or gallery owner and you must deliver paintings to local and distant buyers. You could also be working with greater volumes or regular shipping.

No matter what side that you’re a part of regardless of your affiliation, you’ll face the same issues.


The manner in which your artwork is mounted determines the way it should be packaged. Canvases that are not mounted are able to be delivered in tubes, whereas stretched canvases need to be packed into boxes. If your artwork is mounted behind glass, you’ll need to take extra precautions to shield the glass from the risk of damage should it break during transport.


The size of your artwork will determine how it needs to be packaged.

  • Smaller pieces can be transported in brand-new, double-wall cardboard boxes.
  • Anything greater over 48″ on one side needs to be packed in a crates to ensure maximum security.
  • Unmounted artworks are able to be delivered with tubes at least four inches larger than the narrowest part of the piece, when it’s flatly rolled. The tube must be large enough to hold the padding of 4-5 inches.

Larger artworks are also priced in different ways. Certain companies, like USPS, FedEx, and UPS might have limitations on the size of their trucks and cost your package according to the dimensional weight.


Artwork can be extremely worth it, both financially and emotionally. When it comes to highly valuable works that are art-related, it’s recommended to buy additional insurance that is based on the value of the work ( not weight) to ensure that you’re protected should it sustain damages.

Paintings need to be properly packed according to strict standards to be covered. The most consolidated freight carriers offer services for packing that meet the insurance regulations.


Paintings, and especially stretched canvas, can be delicate. No matter the size of the artwork you’re shipping making sure you pack them correctly to avoid puncture or another damage is vital.


When you’re an artist, or manage a gallery and send a lot of work making recurring deliveries using a consolidated freight shipper can cut time and simplify the process of shipping so that you can deliver your work to the buyer as quickly and securely as is possible. With the most reliable freight shipping firms, recurring shipping can be set up within one email.

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