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Shipping Antiques from Europe

AD&CO Logistics | Why You Should Choose a Shipper Who Specializes in Antiques versus a Regular Shipper | The Antiques Diva

Why You Should Choose an International Shipper Who Specializes in Antiques (and not a Regular Shipper)

When you buy antiques and ship them the most critical question is: Will they arrive undamaged and in good condition?


Buying antiques is part love affair, part business. At The Antiques Diva® we love the thrill of the hunt. Tracking down antiques that you (or your clients) will cherish in their home is an investment in time and effort. Our Diva Guides are experts at sourcing the exact piece that you are searching for. Whether you opt to join us for a private, custom antiques buying trip to Europe, Asia or America; or when you don’t have time to travel, engage us to source and buy antiques for you, you want to be certain your treasures arrive home safely and undamaged.


Antique shipping is completely different from shipping commodities or manufactured products where most items are in standard packages, on pallets or in big bags, and where the sellers provide invoices with all the information needed for the shipping lines and US customs.
Crating in the AD&CO Logistics warehouse

Crating fragile antiques in the AD&CO Logistics warehouse

When shipping antiques you must have safe and secure transportation of fragile and valuable goods:

  • Custom crating and packaging in protective materials
  • Exploration of the best method to transport your goods
  • Detailed documentation for customs and VAT paperwork concerning the export and import documentation necessary for your goods, including Certificates of Origin and an itemized, detailed packing list including descriptions and weights using the international coding system
  • Understanding of fumigation requirements of your container
  • Insurance for the shipped goods from door-to-door
  • Expertise on international exporting and importing antiques including taxes and duties
  • Monitoring and communications on the status of your shipment
  • Relationships with international shipping regulatory agencies and a network of shippers
An Experienced International Shipper Saves You Time and Money 
The typical international shipper is experienced in shipping goods and household items. But only an experienced expert international antiques shipper should be trusted to deliver your goods from dealer or warehouse to their final destination.


Choosing an experienced international antiques shipper saves you time and money:


  • they are experts at packing fragile and valuable goods
  • they understand the cost/benefits of transport by land versus sea versus air
  • they’re experienced in the detailed and specific documentation required for exporting and importing antiques
  • they have worked with international shipping government regulatory offices in other countries
  • they have relationships with transport companies in other countries
  • they are specialists in shipping logistics and can accurately monitor and report shipment status
AD&CO Logistics International Art and Antiques Shipping

Custom crating and packaging in protective materials

AD&CO Logistics Shipping Concierge Services

AD&CO Logistics, a service of The Antiques Diva & Co, provides white glove art and antiques transport and shipping services to customers across Europe and around the globe, including antiques dealers, interior designers, builders and private clients. AD&CO partners with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in shipping services. Your shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.

Our bespoke shipping services will provide you with tags, labels and instructions to identify and inventory your purchases at the dealer or on your buying tour, and our shipping concierge is always available to respond to our customers before, during and after your shipment.

At The Antiques Diva we offer one-stop, turnkey antiques sourcing, buying and shipping services. AD&CO Logistics shipping services offer very competitive rates and the shortest possible handling and shipping time to deliver your goods from the antiques dealer to your door.

Antiques Diva Buying Services

Safe and secure transportation of fragile and valuable goods 

 FAX: +32 (0)3 283 73 49        MOBILE: +32 (0)478 01 01 01 


I’d love to discuss your international antiques shipping needs: contact me at!

Toma Clark Haine – The Antiques Diva® 


Shipping Antiques with Consolidations

Dear Diva Readers,

We’re continuing our series on Shipping Antiques From Overseas. In the past week we’ve discussed various options for shipping antiques.  Yesterday we discussed how much it costs to fill a container with antiques – but what if you’re not planning to buy enough antiques to fill a container? How then do you get them home?  No worries mate, it’s still smooth sailing!

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If you only want to buy a few pieces of furniture on your Antiques Diva European Buying Tour and haven’t bought enough to fill a container you can still ship your purchases home.  You have the option to either Air Freight your purchases home or to share a container with someone else.  This latter option is called groupage or a consolidation – meaning your items are “consolidated” in a container with other peoples goods – or “grouped” with others goods.

While the least expensive way to ship will always be a container (i.e., the more you ship the lower cost per cubic meter) both Air Freight and Consolidations/Groupages are good options.   Air Freight is faster but it tends to be a bit more expensive.  That said, however, it’s not always prohibitively so – make sure to ask your international shipper comparison rates so you can make an educated decision.

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When you do a Consolidation or Groupage your purchases are sent with a container already going to your nearest port – this tends to take longer (can take several months) but is more cost effective than air freight and if your purchases are not time sensitive can be a cost-cutting way of shipping a few items of antiques internationally.

You pay a fee per cubic foot for the space used in the container.  But remember:  if you’re buying a chest of drawers, you’re not just buying the shipping space around the chest of drawers but you’re also buying the available space INSIDE the chest…so fill those drawers with smalls because it’s “free”!  You’re being charged for the air inside the drawers so you might as well fill them up!  Maximize every space and get the most bang for your buck!

The Antiques Diva®

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques?

Dear Diva Readers,

While we don’t do international shipping ourselves here at The Antiques Diva & Co we do liaise our clients on antique buying tours with international shippers to help them get their purchases home sweet home across the pond.  As such we get asked A LOT of questions about how it works to ship antiques internationally.  In general when queries come my way I direct them to the experts – making introductions to shippers we know and trust and have worked with long-term.

Perhaps the most popular questions after “Which international shippers do you recommend?” and “How much does it cost to ship a container?” is “How much does it cost to fill a container full of antiques?”  The answer to this question lies in the answer to the question, “How many antiques fit in a shipping container?”

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If you visualize a 20 foot container…it can hold approximately 40 medium size pieces of furniture.  Then to determine the cost of filling a shipping container with antiques you need to determine how much you are going to spend on average per item.  Chest of drawers could range anywhere from 100 Euro to 10,000 Euro depending on the age, quality, provencance, etc of the items you’re buying.  Buying 1950’s pieces cost a lot less that pieces from the 1750’s!

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If you determine an amount that you feel comfortable with as an average item of purchase and multiply that number times 40 you’ll have a rough ball park figure on “How much it costs to fill a shipping container with antiques?”  Obviously you’re not going to be buying 40 chest of drawers so this isn’t an exact science but it leads you down the path to determining what your budget should be for buying overseas.

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Clients come to me with budgets ranging from 20,000 Euros to 100,000 Euros, saying this is the amount they have to fill their 20 foot container.  On average, serious buyers – Antique Dealers – seeking to fill their container with decorative vintage and antique pieces – the type that you see in all the magazines, chic and stylish, with a degree of age on them but not necessarily uber high-end – come to me with a budget of approx. 40,000 Euro knowing they may spend less or they may spend more depending upon the price point of the items they fall in love with.  The client I was just with found a slew of cocktail tables at 50 Euro each – this brought her average purchase down exponentially and she managed to save a significant amount of money off her anticipated budget.  However…cocktail tables weren’t on her buying list.  Sometimes in order to get the best deal you have to be open to what’s on the market when you’re seeking to buy.  The client will be able to retail those cocktail tables for about $600 USD each – so she is getting a heck of a profit on them!

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When shipping remember it’s better to overbuy and overfill your container than underbuy – the less you buy the more it costs per item in the container.  The best way to save money shipping is to squeeze as many items into the container as possible! And remember – shippers use every square inch! If you have a chest of drawers you can easily pack those drawers full of smalls so there is no wasted space!

Net, net – there is no easy answer on how much it costs to fill a container – but if you use this as a guideline for shipping antiques you’ll have a starting point in determining your budget for buying antiques overseas.

Happy Shipping,
The Antiques Diva®
(Hmmm…. today perhaps you might want to call me The Shipping Diva!)

Special Group Belgium Antique Tour During Maison Objet Fall 2014 Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

For those of you who are coming to Paris this September for Maison Objet I’ve got a SPECIAL OFFER for you!

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Ooh la la… Extend your stay in Paris during Maison Objet this September 2014 to antique in the Belgian countryside where the bargains abound. Join Toma Clark Haines, CEO of Europe’s largest antiques sourcing and touring company The Antiques Diva® & Co, on an exclusive, all-inclusive, jam-packed 2 Day Group Tour buying antiques in Belgium, departing Paris 7am September 10 and returning back to the City of Light the night of September 11, 2014.

Choreographed specifically for interior designers to build their little black book of sources, this intelligently composed antiques buying tour takes you off the beaten path to antique warehouses, by-appointment-only stores and to some of the best Belgian sources for buying abroad. Liaising with international shippers we’ll help get purchases home sweet home across the pond, taking the mystery out of sourcing abroad.

All Inclusive Group Belgium Antique Tour includes:

    • 2 fully-packed days off the beaten path on an antiques buying tour in Belgium, visiting more than 10 secret antique sources – some of the largest antique warehouses and most exclusive by-appointment-only stores.
    • Round trip ground transportation from Paris to and throughout Belgium
    • 1-night hotel in Belgium
    • 2 breakfasts
    • 2 lunches
    • 2 dinners
    • Wine and other beverages and snacks on tour

Price 1100 EURO per person (approx. $1500 USD).
Deadline date August 1, 2014 

To RSVP or for more information contact Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours –  In addition to this special GROUP TOUR going on during Maison Objet as always each weekend of the year we offer our private, one-on-one custom tours of the Paris Flea Market as well as further afield in 8 countries – France, Belgium, England, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. Private tours in Provence & London pair perfectly with Parisian trips to Maison Objet.

See you soon!

The Antiques Diva ®

Book a Tour

1:1 custom antique buying tours in 8 European, 6 Asian countries and America, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider - Seal

The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette

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