With Art Month coming up, issues surrounding art shipping have never been more pressing. Tech-led fine art shipper Convelio has some innovations to report
Despite the bumpy ride of late (Brexit, Covid-19 and inflationary implications on the economy), the international art market is thriving and eagerly anticipating the dynamic upcoming Frieze London and Frieze Masters art fairs, along with hundreds of satellite events across the UK’s capital this October. None of this would be possible without seamless art logistics. There are developments within the engine room of the art world that promise to better cater to the diverse and ever-growing needs of galleries exhibiting and clients acquiring at the renowned dual fairs in Regent’s Park and beyond. Convelio, the tech-led fine art shipper, has launched two distinct service offerings, Convelio Essential and Convelio Fine Art. These new services aim to provide tiered logistics options that address the unique requirements of different segments within the art market, in time for one of the biggest art moments globally.
The London-based Frieze fairs are renowned for the range of their offerings, from the purely contemporary works found at Frieze to the thousands of years of art history displayed in works throughout Frieze Masters. Shipping services must be adaptable to the diverse demands inherent in dealing and buying at events like this, and art shippers are increasingly answering the call to deliver a modern solution.
Finding the balance
Each gallerist at an international art fair always considers their costs when deciding whether to put their show on the road. Speak to exhibitors on the ground and you’ll hear phrases like “we have had a good fair” or perhaps (unfortunately), “I’m not sure this fair is working for us”. When margins between these two comments are increasingly slim, the modern art fair exhibitor requires a cost-efficient yet high-quality shipping service that doesn’t compromise on the service-level expected of a fine art shipper. There is a balance needed in many cases – the generalist shipper cannot meet the specificity requirement for handling fine art, but there is not often the need for highly bespoke shipping services.
Convelio Essential was designed for situations and priorities like this. Gallery exhibitors can maintain cost efficiency while still being able to customise a high quality shipping experience, from packaging choices to insurance coverage, transportation modes to delivery schedules. Moreover, clients will have the convenience of tracking their shipments through Convelio’s proprietary digital platform, ensuring transparency and peace of mind throughout the process.
Maintaining the white glove service
Despite this launch, ‘next gen’ art shipping that balances the needs and concerns of the gallerist will not completely replace the more traditional route of fine art shipping, and this is where Convelio Fine Art comes in. This ‘white-glove’ service offers a specialised logistics solution for the highest-value and most fragile art, sculptures, masterpieces, and rare antiques. It is designed for clients needing to transport works that require an entirely elevated level of precision and care at every step of transporting their valuable artworks.
To achieve this, Convelio has invested in dedicated teams of art transportation experts with extensive knowledge and experience in handling delicate and priceless pieces. From climate-controlled environments to custom packaging solutions, Convelio Fine Art provides the highest level of protection to ensure the secure transportation of valuable works. Each client receives personalised support from a dedicated account manager who oversees every detail of the shipping process, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and rapid response times for enquiries and needs.
This strategic move by Convelio comes after the recent acquisition of CIFA, a long-standing logistics partner serving high-calibre clients across the global art market. With this acquisition, Convelio can now offer direct management of even the most complex projects for Convelio Fine Art clients, further enhancing its capabilities and expertise.
Tailoring to unique demands
Edouard Gouin, co-founder and CEO of Convelio, emphasises the importance of tailoring services to meet the unique demands of each gallery with which it works, “We understand that each client’s shipping needs are unique. Our goal is to empower them with tailored solutions, whether it’s our standard high-quality service, Essential, or the top-tier Fine Art option. This expansion underscores our unwavering commitment to enhancing our services through technological innovation, all while preserving the human element at the core of our approach”.
In an industry where the safe and secure transportation of artworks is paramount, Convelio’s next generational tiered offerings provide art market clients with the flexibility and expertise they need to make informed decisions about their shipping needs. It is the recognition that there are various needs at play, and cost efficiencies must be considered when making logistical decisions, particularly for events such as Frieze.
As Frieze London approaches, the introduction of Convelio Essential and Convelio Fine Art represents a significant step forward in the art logistics sector, enhancing the options available to artists, galleries, collectors, and enthusiasts alike. This development underscores the industry’s increasing commitment to continually innovate and meet the evolving needs of the art market while maintaining excellent levels of specialised shipping services.