How Much it Costs to Ship a Painting

If you have never shipped a painting before, you may be wondering: How much does it cost to ship a painting? 

There are many variables when it comes to shipping, so there is no one answer I can give you, but here are some guidelines to help you find the approximate cost of shipping a painting (in the United States).

The approximate prices listed below are simply estimates I have experienced from shipping numerous works of art.

If you would like a more accurate estimate for shipping your specific painting, please visit the websites down below for shipping calculators for each specific carrier listed.

UPS Shipping Calculator
Fedex Shipping Calculator 
USPS Shipping Calculator

The Cost of Shipping a Painting

How much it costs to ship a painting: The cost of shipping artwork

How much does it cost to ship a painting?

A very small print can cost approximately $5Β to ship via USPS.

For larger prints or paintings on paper, they can be rolled up and shipped in a tube for approximately $5-$20.Β Β 

Small or medium-sized paintings on canvas can be shipped via UPS or Fedex for approximately $10-$50, depending on the size.

Declaring value (similar to insurance) will add more to the price of shipping as well.

Large paintings that are over 30 inches in one dimension usually cost at least $50 to ship via UPS or Fedex. 30 inches is when the price jumps for shipping, so don’t be surprised if the package gets close to or over $100 to ship – especially when shipping across the country.

Here is a comparison chart I created of USPS, UPS, and FEDEX shipping prices for packages and different sizes. These are simply guidelines so that you can have a better idea of shipping prices for different-sized packages. I hope this helps!

shipping art price estimates

If the painting is too large to ship via UPS or Fedex, it may have to be freighted or shipped through another delivery service, such as Roadie.

Freighting usually costs around $300 or more, depending on the size of the painting and the distance it must go. 

International shipping generally costs at least $100.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Shipping

There are three main factors that affect the cost of shipping your painting: The weight, dimensions of the package, and the distance your package must travel.

Also keep in mind that declaring value on your package (similar to insurance) will increase the cost of shipping as well. 

Other factors that can affect the cost of shipping is if your package is going to a more rural area that is farther away from the distribution center (This may add a fuel surcharge fee of approximately $7*).

If your painting is packaged in a wooden crate, this may add an “additional handling fee” because your package won’t be able to go on the conveyor belts and must be manually carried (adds about $15* to shipping).

*These extra fees are based on UPS rates. And fees can change over time.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Shipping Artwork

Use Styrofoam as backing for prints or works on paper. Styrofoam is super light, so it won’t add so much to the weight of the package (especially when you are shipping USPS and are trying to keep your package under 1 lb). Styrofoam will also protect your print from getting bent.

Small, light packages will be more cost-effective to ship via USPS.

Larger packages are more cost-effective to ship via UPS or Fedex, rather than USPS. 

For larger works on canvas, remove the canvas from the frame and roll into a tube. This will drastically reduce the cost of shipping (especially for international shipments). Plus, it will help to keep the painting safer. 

 If you ship a lot using a specific carrier as a business, you may be able to create an account (UPS account or Fedex account) and get reduced shipping rates compared to regular retail costs for shipping.

Related Blog Post:
The Ultimate Guide to Packaging Artwork: Everything you need to know about how to package artwork for safe and secure shipping.

Shipping artwork can be really hard work, so I hope this blog post was able to answer some of your questions about the cost of shipping a painting. Shipping artwork can be expensive, but when it comes to packaging and declaring value, I wouldn’t skimp on it!

It is after-all, all about getting your precious piece of art to where it needs to go safe and sound.  

If you found this blog post helpful, consider liking, commenting, or sharing down below! I hope you have a wonderful day and until next time my lovely readers <3

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