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Can we provide you with more information with regards Art Handling? Perhaps we can offer an estimate for a specific transport request?

Please contact us using the boxes to the right of the map. If you need an estimate, be sure to include sizes of the object, a brief description and their origin and destination.

If this is a purchase from an auction house, please include the sale date and lot number.

Thank you.

Aiston Fine Art Services
Phone: 212-715-0629
Fax: 718-361-8569

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Comprehensive Fine-Art Handling Solutions

Airfreight Transport

Rules of Thumb
  • Airfreight is quicker, but more expensive.
  • Airfreight shipments need to be crated.
  • Time saved in airfreighting international shipments will be wasted if documentation is incomplete.
  • At certain times of the year, the availability of airfreight space is limited.
  • Shipment of hazardous cargo is strictly governed.

Air transport can be utilized both for domestic and international destinations. The obvious reason for choosing this method would be speed, however there are other criteria to consider.

A great deal of control can be placed upon shipments traveling by air. This is why most museums specify air transport for many of their shipments. Specific departure and arrival times can be chosen, freight can be supervised on and off the aircraft and due to the nature of perceived threats to aircraft and airports these days, it is a very secure mode of transport. For very important or highly valued shipments, a courier can travel on board the aircraft accompanying the freight. This ensures that the freight flies as booked and is particularly useful if the route requires a change of aircraft, crates can miss connections just like passengers.

Most freight flies in the belly of commercial passenger aircraft, you may be sitting atop a Rembrandt whilst munching your in-flight meals! However, the maximum size of objects is limited by the size of the loading device, or pallet and the size of the door. Depending on the aircraft, the maximum height restriction is 62", less in some cases.

The length of a pallet in a wide bodied aircraft is 125", longer objects may need special handling. The use of a cargo aircraft may be necessary for over-sized shipments, as their doorways and capacity tend to be much larger.

Once at the destination, shipments will be made available at the airline’s warehouse for local delivery. In the case of international shipments, such a delivery can not take place until all import customs clearance criteria have been met. The delivery truck must provide proof of customs clearance upon retrieval, or the freight will not be handed over.

A shipper can specify which company performs the final, local delivery if they wish or alternatively, choose a door to door service and allow the airline to handle the local delivery. This service tends only to be available with such companies as Federal Express or TNT.

Insurance premiums tend to be much less on shipments dispatched by air over seafreight. Therefore a high valued international shipment can often make more sense traveling via airfreight rather than sea, even if it is a bulky piece of furniture.

Anything being shipped by air must be crated, with a few exceptions if loading into aluminium air-containers can be utilized. It is worth considering that, when not on the aircraft, the freight is for the most part handled by machines. Crates should be easily lifted by a fork-truck. Particular care should be taken with tall, thin, heavy objects such as mirrors or marble tops, as these may topple over during handling. Such items are best crated with other bulkier pieces or otherwise in wider double-crates, or even crates with angled stabilizers built on to them, to provide the most protection possible.

Certain hazardous cargoes, such as mercury (found in barometers), must be packed in a very specific way by packers certified by international aviation agencies.

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