Packing cases

Shipments by sea have a much lower carbon footprints than shipments by air.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The Stansted Mountfitchet firm wants to address issues that were highlighted in the results of its 2021 carbon emissions assessment, which found that outsourced air freight for Sworders Delivery service had contributed 20% of the firm’s total annual emissions.

Sea container shipments are 98.4% less carbon intensive than international shipments by air (per tonne/km according to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 2021).

Sworders said for purchased lots to be delivered overseas, clients can request a sustainable shipping quote via its site (working with shipping partner Bradleys). Sustainable shipping quotes can be applied to most larger items such as furniture and paintings measuring in excess of 1.5m in length. However, it is not currently feasible for smaller items.

The steps being taken by Sworders follow Christie’s announcement in April (ATG No 2539) that it will trial moving works by sea rather than air with logistics firm Crozier.

Last month The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), a not-for-profit group of galleries, auction houses and advisers, announced a Sustainable Shipping Campaign championing sea over air and giving guidance on how it is possible.