We recently posted a brief explanation of our antique shipping choices on our google plus page. We talked about how we came to the conclusion to use a combination of Royal Mail and DHL for both UK and Worldwide deliveries. When using Royal Mail for worldwide deliveries we think it wise to only use the Airsure service, due to the higher priority and better tracking capabilities once the package has left the United Kingdom. As the value or weight increases it becomes essential to move onto DHL (which is an end-to-end courier) providing a much more comprehensive tracking system.
Within the UK, companies such as myhermes, yodel and parcelmonkey just aren’t suitable for shipping Antiques and Collectables. They simply do not offer insurance for Antiques and exclude any type of Ceramic (porcelain, pottery & glass). ParcelForce are another company often used to ship antiques or collectables yet they also do not offer compensation for damaged Antiques or Ceramics.
DHL and UPS seem to be among the few couriers with an option to add insurance that will cover Antiques & Collectables for damage, yet this option seems to only be easily available for account holders. Those who access these services through a middle man or online broker, or use them for an ad hoc delivery via their general public Express level service will find it hard to add the necessary insurance.
When it comes to packaging, I would like to believe the parcel will be cradled, passed hand to hand and held upright all the way to the other side of the world. However, I always pack for the very worst case scenario, with packaging that will protect the contents no matter what.