Six Steps to Safe Shipment
By Paul Marcon
Shipping fragile items safely always presents a challenge. However, care and attention to a few important details can prevent unnecessary damage. The following information will guide you through the packaging process and provide a few pointers that can make a big difference. While this will substantially improve your prospects for safe shipment, exceptional challenges may still arise. Should you require additional assistance with your packaging problems, please contact CCI; we will be happy to provide further information and resources as well as detailed consultation and design services.
When shipping a museum object, the packaging will need to protect the object from the following hazards:
- shock and vibration
- punctures, dents, abrasion, grime, and distortion
- compressive forces (those acting on packages during shipment and in storage)
- environmental hazards (temperature and relative humidity (RH), water, pests, and pollutants)
The following steps provide a practical approach to packing fragile items:
- Step 1. Consider the type of shipment and the carriers.
- Step 2. Plan package weights and sizes to reduce shipping hazards.
- Step 3. Increase object durability (if possible).
- Step 4. Recognize the benefits of primary packaging (e.g. mounts, protective wrapping).
- Step 5. Use cushioning material effectively.
- Step 6. Find or construct good shipping crates.
- Helpful Resources