Whether you have purchased prints and want to bring them home or you are transporting prints to a show or gallery, you want to make sure that they will arrive undamaged and in excellent condition. The right kind of packing and planning is essential. While you can certainly use boxes, packing materials and techniques used for shipping artwork via a shipping service, using hard shell cases may prove safer and more cost-effective in the long run.
This type of case is specifically manufactured for some of the world’s most challenging equipment transportation, including medical and military equipment. In the case of art prints, you have a variety of considerations for protection and transport. You can transport framed and unframed prints using a hardigg case. These cases are made from lightweight, high-impact polyethylene and are usually lined with impact-resistant foam. You may also custom-line them with materials that preserve the integrity of your art prints.
You will want to select the largest case that will accommodate your prints. If you are traveling by air and want the prints to travel with you, be aware that most airlines will charge extra for transporting cases which measure more than 62 linear inches, and there is a weight limit of 50 pounds on checked luggage. Items larger and heavier will be shipped via air cargo. Maximum “normal” cargo dimensions are 120x80x60 in., which will accommodate all but the very largest art prints.
A high-quality case that will protect your art prints during transport should at a minimum, be waterproof, stackable, have recessed hardware, including locks handles and hinges, and have reinforced corners and ribs to protect from impact damage or puncture damage. Be the case you select has at least two inches of clearance around each side of your art prints, whether or not they are framed. Shipping costs will be reduced by selecting the strongest, lightest-weight construction material, which will typically be polyethylene.
You’re probably familiar with transporting art prints around your local area using archival portfolios, carrying cases, and simple soft-sided art cases. These forms of art print transport are convenient, but they aren’t waterproof or high impact resistant. Hard shell cases offer a higher level of protection and security. They may come with wheels, or you can add wheels to them for transport to shows and galleries, or through busy airport facilities.