I go my packing case from acorn packaging eventually - they were really helpful and also reasonable - although delivery from Essex cost as much as the case itself. I tried to buy locally but no Derby firm replied. One thing I learnt was that any wood needs to be ISPM15 compliant and to be stamped as such - otherwise it will be denied entry by US customs. Luckily I am useless at making stuff, otherwise I would probably have made my own case and promptly had it returned!
The Drawing Center recommended either FedEx or Bax Global and I have decided to use FedEx - as they seem to be the cheapest and FedEx Freight has a number which means you can ring and actually speak to someone. (I did got a quote from a Fine Art shipper which came to around £7,000 so that was the end of that idea!)
The first thing I did was set up an account (mainly because it makes it easier to get the work back at the end of the exhibition) which was really straightforward and is linked to my credit card. Deliveries can only be booked the day before pick-up which is a bit scary (in my case I shall book on the 11th Feb for delivery in New York on the 15th) - but they have assured me they won't run out of space on the plane! One thing I wasn't clear about was what documentation was needed - I am not selling the work, it is on loan and will be returned - so I rang FedEx today to find out what I need and they have emailed me the documentation so I can go through it in advance and check I have all the information. It appears I need:
- FedEx Airway Bill
- Pro Forma Invoice (which will indicate value of goods)
- Temporary Export Form (which has a tick box for 'exhibition')
- Work of Art Declaration (which specifies work is original)
I shall go through the documentation over the next few days (and probably have to make a few calls to FedEx for clarification) - see part 2 for details.