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Art-логистика in a pandemic
ARTinvestment.RU   27 мая 2020

The difficulty faced by collectors and companies for the transportation of art objects today

the crisis caused by the pandemic coronavirus COVID-19, continues to shake the world, changing the behavior and habits of the people. Needless to say that the consequences of the crisis will change not only the economy of many countries, but also comfortable for most people way of life. The pandemic affects all sectors of activity, including on the art world, which until recently seemed so huge and invulnerable. Today we have before us thousands of private museums and galleries, hundreds of cancelled fairs, the auctions, which you cannot visit, and a huge number of talented artists, forced to look for alternative ways of survival.

Especially hard by the pandemic affected the sphere of art-логистики. Why? It is actually very simple. Let's start with the fact that planes do not fly and the tickets are not sold. For example, flights in Europe fell by almost 90 %. To many this may seem surprising, but most of the art is traditionally moved around the world on a regular commercial passenger flights in the cargo hold — in the practice of the airlines to accept passenger flights commercial cargo. With fewer flights which means less ways to move art objects. In addition, stores in some jurisdictions have been forced to close. In-вторых, in many countries customs works only on the reception of humanitarian aid and emergency supplies, so pass the painting or sculpture is virtually impossible. Finally, as already mentioned, galleries and fairs are closed, so that the work for the major shipping companies in fact not. All this led to a General fall in business.

Who, what and where carrying?

Despite the deplorable situation in the sphere of international transportation of art as a whole, we still cannot say that the art of logistics in a pandemic does not exist. It exists. Many small family companies continue to operate and serve the customers as possible in the current situation. They do this, of course, on a much smaller scale and only on their own, without involving additional staff in order to best protect themselves and others.

while all the auctions are closed to the physical bidding, online-аукционы continue their work. Most of them operate through platforms such as Invaluable and LiveAuctioneers, providing collectors the opportunity to acquire works of art and Antiques from the comfort of home. It is also important to understand that despite the current world situation, many people continue to invest in art, seeing in the current recession, the possibility of profitable investment. Hence the need for the services of art-логистических companies.

it Should be noted that the transport of art objects are now mainly carried out only within one country or even region. The problem lies in the limited air communication with other countries and customs difficulties. Shipping art to the USA from Europe is possible only from the UK, where there are still commercial flights. But to deliver a painting, a sculpture, or a collection from, say, Germany or Spain to the UK and now veryvery difficult: many small local companies are closed and the carriage just no one does. Hence the delay in the delivery time and many other problems.

Another important part of art-логистики in a pandemic are price limits on art. Basically now transported objects whose value does not exceed $100 thousand it is not that transport companies don't want to carry the work higher price, and that the transport of such objects requires special conditions and design of a number of additional documents, which at the moment is simply impossible. So, many collectors and museums whose work is to quarantine were presented at exhibitions in other countries, can't get them back, no matter how much they may wish it. Another limitation for those involved in art-логистикой, is that the United States allowed the carriage of small vehicles, however, works on installation/dismantle items (implying the presence of several people in one room, including observers from the Museum or a customer) is prohibited by the rules of social distancing. Therefore, shipping the fact can be, and hanging, etc. — no.

What to do if your job is still in the Museum (or the auction house)?

Since many of the museums remain closed, collectors should review the lease agreement to test two important provisions regarding terms of repayment.

In-первых, if the piece of art had to be returned by a certain date, the collector shall require amending the lease agreement with the Museum. Amended shall confirm the performance of the duties of the Museum for insurance and storage works as long as both parties come to an agreement about what the work of art can be safely returned to the owner. In-вторых, if the subject of art in the lease provides for immunity from seizure (legal guarantee of the Museum that the items provided to the temporary exhibition will be returned at the end of the lease term and will not be disclosed to a third party, which may declare that it is the legitimate owner. — AI.), the landlord should insist that this provision remained in force until the subject of art is the tenant, since the delay was for reasons beyond the parties ' reasons.

Situation and Outlook for the future

Today, the demand for art-логистические services, according to our estimates, fell by 98 %. Most companies, both large and family, very much affected by the pandemic and international crisis. Work, and therefore income, almost there, but still need to pay all operating expenses, rent, insurance and much more. A small company trying to stay afloat and continue to service collectors, artists, galleries and auction houses, as is now possible. However, there is one caveat. The more complicated the process of transporting art objects, the higher its value. This service, like many others in crisis, has become more expensive. The difference is small, but sometimes it is enough to clientrefused transportation until better times.

Logistics company who are still working, not doing this out of the desire to make money, but rather, showing loyalty to customers in an attempt to keep the usual art-сообщества way of life. With regard to the Outlook for the future, about it while early to speak: a rapidly growing segment of online-продаж art in the future should bring art-логистику to a qualitatively new (fast, easy and affordable) level. One thing is clear: the art world will not soon recover from the crisis, many transport companies will remain closed and the $ 2.1 billion spent by sellers and buyers on logistics in 2019, what-то time will remain unattainable.

In the following, we discuss the main problems of logistics objects of art that the collector will encounter in "peace" time.

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