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Supply chain issues, the rising cost of fuel, COVID, the war in Ukraine: the current climate affects almost every aspect of life. This includes your fine art. How can you protect your art during this period of global volatility?
Supply Chain and Fuel Costs
In short, everything is much more complicated than before. Accounting for shipping delays and asking the right questions of your customs broker, shippers, borrowers and consignees will be critically important to protecting your art in the coming months.
Ocean cargo shipments were once a relatively safe way to transport art, provided some basic guidelines were followed such as booking a roll-on roll off (RORO) vessel, and using a climate controlled container (REEFER). Today, ocean cargo shipments are not as safe a bet as they used to be. Other considerations include:
Russian Air Space Restrictions / Shipments to Asia
Business friction has increased with Russian sanctions and air space restrictions. Between the supply chain, fuel costs and flight routes, shipping in general has become more difficult; shipping to and from Asia has become particularly challenging.
Closing Russian air space to all European and USA air carriers and flights originating in the Northern hemisphere traveling to Asia pushes routing over the Arctic, requiring more fuel, time, and money.
Flights to Asia have been slashed by 95%. The limited cargo space available is taken up by high-demand consumer products from China, leaving little room for fine art.
Air freight capacity cannot keep up with the current demand triggering sharp price increases for shipments.
Art Fairs in Asia require much more lead time for dealer’s shipment. Expect to have shipments depart by mid-April to reach the May fairs on time. We recommend doubling the shipment time from last year when making your plans.
Expect severe price increases for the return shipments. Shipping costs can be as much as ten times more expensive than in the past.
Tips for Protecting Your Artwork
A special thanks to Fritz Dietl, Delaware Freeport and Margaret Bussiere, Risk Strategies for their generous contributions to this article.
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