August 1, 2019
Rachael Gilpin

Fine Art Logistics in the Age of Overnight Delivery

Supply chains for objects like fine art, furniture and design, and oversized objects are often fragmented and painfully inefficient. Many businesses that sell and distribute unique commodities lack the resources needed to create a streamlined fulfillment process.

A woman working in fine art logistics coordinating the move of a sculpture

Overnight shipping is not always possible with every type of good. Given the robust consumer demand for buying traditional goods online, sellers have been remarkably slow to tackle fine art logistics leaving a gap in the delivery of unique and variable items.

While commerce for traditional products is buzzing, supply chains for variable, high-value items are missing one-click solutions for packing, shipping, and fulfillment.

If sellers, shippers, and carriers want to capitalize on the gap in the fulfillment of variable products, they need to consider the following adjustments in logistics operations.

How to provide the best in fine art logistics

Automated shipment tracking

Many supply chains tend to be fragmented, with various providers servicing the first-mile, mid-fulfillment, and last-mile components. Modern merchants and retail marketplaces have largely led the evolution of customer expectations. Consumers can now track packages online with a single confirmation number, and they’re unhappy when they’re not provided updated transparency.

Expert packing

Large, valuable, and unique products can require specific types of vehicles for safe transport, like air-ride or climate-controlled trucks. In some cases, these commodities must be kept at a cool temperature. Or, due to fragility, the goods must travel via truck with extra shock absorption.

End-to-end fulfillment isn’t easy to come by for sellers of unique and highly variable products. The market is ripe for a technology solution allowing companies to have centralized support from shipment quoting to customer tracking and delivery.

Specialized installation and artwork shipping companies

Non-conveyable goods often require special installation by trained technicians. This may be because they require complex assembly or are too large or heavy for consumers to unpack on their own. Trained technicians provide carriers with a competitive advantage because they’re equipped to move and assemble rare, high-value products.

Shipping and documentation

Documentation, management, and billing within specialty logistics are often inefficient. Common carriers have fully automated these, but specialized providers have been slow to follow. These traditional operating systems are not only underoptimized but can leave staff underutilized as well.

Investing in solutions for managing documents, streamlining customs documentation, automating payments, and even white labeling your shipping can provide significant returns for companies that sell and move unique objects.

Pick your niche and keep your operations agile

Servicing this growing market doesn’t mean you have to be a big operation. These commodities often require highly specialized services. Find a niche, do it well, and own it—being small and agile can be a big win in this environment.

Many art logistics vendors are in a perfect position to capitalize on the market for shipping specialized items. The key is to strike while the market is moving.

How Arta is re-imagining fine art logistics

Arta was created specifically for highly variable, high-value inventory and is the only integrated platform able to automate the entire post-purchase experience. Easy to use for smaller businesses with a handful of transactions a month, yet customizable for large enterprises with hundreds of transactions a week. Arta's coverage and extensive carrier network help you centralize processes so you can grow your business.

Reach out to learn more about how Arta can help you streamline your fine art logistics through instant quotes, automated tracking, post-sale communication, and more.

Rachael Gilpin

Rachael is a Content Marketer. She started her career as a writer almost ten years ago when she spent time living and working abroad. Her experiences have fueled her desire to understand human needs and clearly articulate nuanced concepts to wider audiences.

About Arta

We provide end-to-end logistics solutions for merchants and marketplaces worldwide.

We’re continuously evolving our e-commerce infrastructure for the global collectibles industry through automated transaction, fulfillment, and post-purchase technology. Arta's software provides instant shipping and handling quotes for any item type, regardless of size, material, or price point. Our API automates shipping and fulfillment for high-value items, providing a frictionless purchasing experience for our clients’ buyers.

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