This article will discuss questions that you should ask before shipping an antique.
Shipping antiques requires a company that is both a professional packing and delivery company. Ask for a customized service that will fit your specific needs. It may be a certain pick up time, a certain delivery time or shipping internationally to family members. Heirloom furniture deserves special treatment. Memories make a piece of furniture more than something sleep on, sit on or eat on.
You will need to look for a company that handles custom packing, custom box making, custom palletizing or even custom crating. Custom packing may require both lining the crate with Styrofoam, as well as blocking and bracing of your antique. The reason that you look at all of these options, is that each and every antique shipment is different. For high value items a custom built crate may be needed, while for other shipments, a double wall box may be exactly what is needed for shipping.
Certain times you will ship for an estate or to multiple family members when breaking up a home. Sometimes it is for estate shipping and sometimes loving parents are shipping to their children.
When shipping within the United States, you may want to look at a company that can blanket wrap your antiques and deliver them on a moving truck. Ask if the company has minimum charges. Look for a company that will charge based on distance and the amount of space that your shipment will take up on truck.
International shipping of antiques requires the same pick up service, but different packing specifications. If a custom crate is to be built, or if the company needs to use a custom pallet, then make sure that wood required for international shipping is used. Customs documentation will need to be prepared. Make sure that the company that you are shipping to will accept the type of antique that you are shipping. Commercial invoices will need to be prepared. If one of the antiques you are shipping is valued for more than $2500, a Schedule B number will be required. Check with the country that you are shipping to about duties and taxes that will need to be paid. Do you want to pay the duties and taxes, or will you leave it up to the recipient to pay these taxes?
In order to determine the value to place on either your domestic or international antique shipment, you may need to obtain an appraisal. In the case of a deceased relative, the estate may require this appraisal in order to settle the estate. Let the company that you choose to ship your antique know that you would like to take out valuation coverage. They should cover value for both loss and damage if they pack your antique for you. If you pack your antique, they will probable offer coverage for loss only. This makes perfect sense since you are not a professional packer. A company will not know the type of job that you have done packing your antique.
If your antique is small and if you pack it in a box, the top of the box should not move when you press down on the top of the box. We recommend pushing down peanuts if you are using a box, to make sure that your antique does not move around during shipping.
If you are having a difficult finding an antique shipper in your city, you may want to look up companies that concentrate in shipping the following items: high value art work, marble, marble statutes, grandfather clocks, taxidermy animals, crystal and chandeliers. Why do we suggest items? These items are inherently fragile. If a company does not list antiques on their website, but does list all of these delicate and valuable items, they can probably also ship antiques.