Fine Art Transport Services: A Comparison

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Art transportation, Blog

Fine art transport services are essential for collections care professionals who need to move their artworks safely and securely. Whether it is for an exhibition, an international loan, a conservation project, or a relocation, you are looking for fine art transport services that offer specialized solutions that cater to the specific needs of your artwork and collection.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you read our other more general article on what to look for when searching for the right fine art transport services for the first time. In this particular article, we will focus on giving you a brief overview of seven fine art transport services that operate both in the US and internationally today. And if you wonder how we know about them, most of them were sponsors at the 2023 ARCS conference in Montreal! Remember that conferences are great places to find vendors and partners in the field. With no further ado, here they are in alphabetical order.

Atelier Fine Art Services

Atelier FAS is a family-owned fine art transport service that was founded in 1986 in the United States. They have offices in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. They offer several different types of services including storage, crating and packing, transportation, collections management, collections relocation, installation and rigging, and virtual courier services in collaboration with Articheck. The company boasts a fleet of 15 climate-controlled, air-ride, GPS tracked, Babaco alarmed vehicles with exclusive use and shuttle services throughout the United States. They also own over 150,000 square feet of storage space in their 3 US locations which are fully equipped with specialized lighting, fire suppression and security systems.

Bovis International

Bovis Fine Art was founded in 1977 in France and has since opened subsidiaries in Spain and the United Arab Emirates. According to their marketing material, they have 15 secure warehouses, 37 vehicles, and 17,000 square meters of storage space (about 183,000 square feet). Past clients have included the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Palace of Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Picasso Museum. They offer secure parking areas throughout France and Spain for night stops and satellite-connected, climate-controlled, air-ride, armored vehicles as well as a “specific IT network” presumably designed for the safe exchange of sensitive information. They even have portable shipping containers for anoxia treatments!


Constantine is a family-owned UK-based fine arts transport company, and the oldest company in this list. It was founded in 1885 and works mostly in the UK although they also offer international transportation, packing and case-making, art storage, installation, decants and customs support. Constantine can boast a Royal Warrant, which means that they have provided services to a specific member of the royal household – in Constantine’s case, to the late queen for “fine art packing, handling, transportation, and storage services”. As with the other options found here, they will offer the expected services with secure, climate-controlled storage, collections management options, and GPS-tracked air ride trucks for transportation. If you are interested in a company that considers sustainability, Constantine mentions they have invested in environmentally efficient buildings as well as a carbon footprint audit to work directly to reduce their direct emissions and calculate their carbon footprint throughout the business. If you are thinking about crates, Constantine is the exclusive UK partner for the reusable Turtle crates although they also hire reusable crates for different types of objects. Some of these wooden crates have been upcycled for community projects, which you can learn more about on their website.


Crozier is a company with over 40 years of experience, and they are no small fish. They boast over 30 locations spanning North America, Europe and Asia and an impressive 1.8 million square feet of storage space. They offer flexible storage options with virtual tracking systems, condition reports and custom climate controls and boast 4000 installation projects per year, so you know they definitely have vast amounts of experience under their belts. Their transport trucks, which probably include many of the other standard features we have already mentioned above, also mention the use of DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) systems, which trap large particles from the truck’s exhaust. In terms of sustainability, Crozier does not currently seem to have reusable crating options, but they do say they plant a tree for every crate purchased. An interesting offer we have not seen in the other fine art transport services listed here is the option to scan, digitize, and even 3D replicate artworks.

Hasenkamp group

The Hasenkamp group is the second oldest company in this list, with a founding date of 1903 in Cologne, Germany. Believe it or not, after 115 years, they remain an owner-managed family business! As a large group, Hasenkamp is able to offer a full range of services with several specialists available from project coordinators, packers, art inspectors, conservator-restorers and even air security checking staff. Just like the other services in this list, they also offer climate-controlled and secure storage spaces, but in Hasenkamp’s version, they have environmentally conscious storage, using geothermal and solar energy as well as well-insulated constructions to reduce energy expenditure. In terms of packaging, Hasenkamp has individualized packaging solutions including cardboard systems for smaller items and a new reusable crate which they have developed themselves called Arca.


Hizkia began in The Netherlands in 1990 and is still a family-owned company. If you have heard of the sustainable Turtle crates before, they were developed in 1993 by the Hizkia Founder Hizkia van Kralingen. Since then, Hizkia has grown into an international company spanning 6 (European) countries. Hizkia offers project management, transportation, packaging, art handling, collection management and conservation, and gallery-specific services for exhibitions and storage. One of the interesting aspects of Hizkia’s service is their “free port” offer, which is a customs-bonded warehouse space for rent, which means it has been approved by customs authorities and is therefore free of import duties. They are also authorized to import artworks that fall under the CITES international agreement such as items that may contain ivory or certain types of protected wood species. Another interesting and useful aspect of Hizkia is that they can refer you to collections professionals if you don’t have conservators available in your own staff.

Masterpiece International

Masterpiece International is a trusted provider of fine art transport services in the heritage industry. They were founded in 1989 in New York and have since expanded internationally. They are capable of both air and sea freight transportation and can cover installation and de-installation, insurance, customs brokerage and documentation, storage warehousing and will even help get your courier their flights through their in-house travel agent! Masterpiece uses reusable Turtle crates for secure packaging, and if you are interested in other kinds of security, they even offer armed or unarmed escorts with their own tarmac vehicles that can access airport terminals and cargo areas!

What to look for

Based on what you have seen these different companies offer, this is a summary laundry list of the kinds of things you might want to look for in your fine art transport services. Please note that this is a summary of all the offers mentioned above and is not intended as a checklist. You will not necessarily be able to find a single company that offers every single item below, but you may use this list to decide which aspects are most important for you and start there:

  • Storage services with specialized lighting, fire suppression, security systems, IPM implementation, and climate control.
  • Crating and packing solutions, potentially with sustainable options, which may include crate rental as opposed to sale, so you don’t end up with a lot of one-time use crates. Where rental is not possible, some companies plant trees for crates purchased.
  • Transportation with specialized climate-controlled, air-ride vehicles that are GPS tracked, alarmed, and may have secure overnight parking locations.
  • Installation and de-installation services.
  • Virtual courier support.
  • Collections management options such as inventory and project management, photography and digitization (Crozier), as well as consulting services for design, needs assessment, and even emergency response and preparedness training.
  • Handling and rigging, experience with large format artworks.
  • Customs support for international travel and services related to pre-screening or separate security screenings to avoid the hassle and risk of having to open and unpack crates at the airport. If necessary, ask your fine art transport service of choice if they have CITES authorizations and/or experience.
  • Customizable insurance options that may guarantee full coverage against fire, burglary, water damage, natural disasters and even intentional destruction.

Don’t forget to check lists of previous clients if you find a company you are interested in, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them through your colleague networks to ask for a discreet review.


In the realm of fine art transport services, each provider will have its particular characteristics and geographical strengths. Choose your provider based on your specific needs, budget, and location requirements. If you are a small institution with only relatively local travel requirements, you might not need to hire a large international conglomerate to help you. On the other hand, if you are gearing up for an international loan, it might be a good idea to go bigger with a company that has the logistic capabilities and expertise to help you throughout the trip.

An excellent fine art transport service company will have to be aware of a large number of issues that go from collections care to customs clearance documentation, transportation, insurance and security. We hope that this article will help you think about all the moving parts and requirements of a collections move so you can find and choose your ideal transportation partner. If you are still unsure, don’t hesitate to head over to the Conserv Community and ask your colleagues for a recommendation.

If you have any questions about environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, or just want to talk about preventative conservation, please reach out to us! Don’t forget to check out our blog or join our community of collections care professionals where you can discuss hot topics, connect with your peers or even take a course to get familiar with the Conserv platform.

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