Shipping Partner Survey: Effects on Operations During COVID-19

Since day one, our mission has been to streamline white glove shipping, both with technology and by connecting a fragmented supply chain. During these unprecedented times, we are here to support our clients – particularly those in the art industry – by ensuring they can continue to conduct sales and ensure collectors have options for receiving their purchases.

ARTA has over 500 shipping and service providers across the globe. We surveyed hundreds of them, and with nearly 200 responses from 48 countries, we have broad visibility into the capabilities of our partners today. Given that the impacts of COVID-19 change on a daily – even hourly – basis, we are in close contact with our network to understand how we can support them, and ensure we have the most up to date information.

Europe & Asia

Situation Summary:

  • Cargo still able to move throughout the EU as of March 20th; however, the majority of inter-EU groupage/shuttle services are either limited or cancelled
  • The majority of our partners can do local collections/deliveries upon request
  • Parcel service is still available and we are not seeing significant increases in pricing; we are able to collect, crate and ship internationally via parcel at regular levels
  • Airfreight options are still available, though pricing is volatile and capacity is limited
  • Sea Freight is also still an option, and we aren’t seeing the big price increases that we’ve seen with air freight


Are you providing shipping quotes?

Nearly all of our partners are still offering quotes for booking; only 3% are not offering quotes at all. The caveat: many quotes are only guaranteed for 24 hours (some, less), given daily price volatility.

Are you receiving/releasing from your warehouse?

While most partners are still operating their warehouses business as usual, though this could be impacted by mandatory nationwide lockdowns that we’ve already seen in some countries. For example, only 50% of our partners in Italy that took the survey are operating their warehouses, and many by appointment only. 70% of our partners in France still have their warehouses open, and 100% of our partners in the UK are operating their warehouses.

Are you offering local collections/deliveries?

More than a quarter of our partners are not doing regular local pickups and deliveries, though some of them will do so by special request only.

Are you offering international and/or intra-country road freight, including groupage/shuttles?

Less than half of our partners are operating cross-border shuttles. We expect this number to continue to go down as strict border controls are put in place across the world.

Are you providing inside delivery services including unpacking/installation?

17% of our partners have completely cancelled inside delivery services. Another 17% are offering it on a case-by-case basis. While 65% of are partners are performing these services, many clients are opting not to request them at this time.

US & North America

Situation Summary:

  • All warehouses in California are temporarily closed due to “shelter in place”. All local collections and deliveries are delayed until warehouses can re-open.
  • NYC warehouses are now temporarily closing, while some may remain open on a case by case basis.
  • Most national and regional shuttles are still operating, but we may see this changing with more state mandated closures of non-essential businesses.
  • Companies are continuing to determine best practices on a case by case basis.


Is your warehouse currently open for release and receive-in?

Of the 14% who did not respond yes, they are either closed (3%), closing in the coming days (6%), or reduced hours/by appointment only (5%).

Will you offer collection and/or delivery services inside a residence or business?

While 85% of our partners are still entering homes and businesses, many have noted that their clients are not requesting these services at this time.

Are you offering local collections/deliveries?

Many of those no longer offering local collections and deliveries are those in areas already on “shelter in place” orders, like in California. We expect more partners to halt these services should additional cities and states have similar mandates from the government.

Have you cancelled or postponed any shuttles routes within the U.S.? (open ended)

Most partners have not cancelled any routes, but note this could change at any time. Of those that do have cancellations, they were likely to/from California as a result of the “shelter in place” orders.

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About ARTA

We provide end-to-end logistics solutions for merchants and marketplaces worldwide.

We’re continuously evolving our e-commerce infrastructure for the global collectibles industry through automated transaction, fulfillment, and post-purchase technology.

ARTA’s software provides instant shipping and handling quotes for any item type, regardless of size, material, or price point. Our API automates shipping and fulfillment for high-value items, providing a frictionless purchasing experience for our clients’ buyers.