ShipandInsure Newsletter

Current Shipping Risks and How to Avoid Them!

At, we are not just insurance agents. Our core mission is centered around continued, proper protection at affordable rates for the wide range of our members' collections, creations and valuable business-related items during transit (while providing the legendary customer service for which we are known!).

Our members know that we work hard for them with a partnership approach in the protection of their valuable items! Often, the items to be shipped are not replaceable and our members will often call us for security, safety and shipping advice when needing to transport their valuables.

As life continues to become more challenging, we have decided to add updates to risk management and ways to avoid loss as a regular addition to our future newsletters. BE SAFE!

Photo of a package


RISK - Nefarious-minded carrier employees are using personal scanners to detect metals!

  • Within your inner box, wrap your item/lot in aluminum foil or a mylar bag (which one depends on if presentation is important for that shipment). This simple and inexpensive step will throw off the scanners and thwart most potential thefts!
  • Instruct your recipient(s) to refuse any shipment that looks to be tampered with or damaged. This removes them from the equation and creating additional claim processes as well as helps you avoid potential scammers claiming to have received empty/damaged packages.

Photo of a package marked fragile (2) FOR MEMBERS SHIPPING FRAGILE ITEMS:
RISK - Potential rugby games break out with your shipment in hand!

  • As humorous as that sounds, it's fair to say that this is not at all far from reality these days. Long gone are the days of proper care of your shipments by common carriers. Since it's highly unlikely to change for the better, what can you do? Proper packing to handle a 4' drop from any angle is essential!
  • Be sure that you're adjusting your ideas of what proper packaging looks like in 2024 (it's certainly not the same as even 10 years ago). Peanuts, paper and bubble wrap are NOT sufficient except as a filler. These should never be considered as protection for fragile items from external hazards. Anything that's heavier than the peanuts themselves will cause peanuts to shift around during even normal movements of transport and your valuables will end up against at least one side during its trip. Bubble wrap and packing paper provides some protection, however, it does nothing to stop the velocity factor and the stress it causes to the item itself when movement/shifting is involved. Shock absorption is the key to proper protection of fragile items.
  • When considering protective packing for fragile items:
    • The quality of your packing materials matters! Tape, filler, boxes, strongboxes, crates, means of shipping - everything! Do not cut corners here - the risk of not properly packing your valuables or choosing the cheapest shipping method (and not the appropriate) is too high.
    • Choose a packing material that absorbs shock (such as soft foam or spray foam products) by considering realistic scenarios such as your box getting tossed off a truck or dropped from at least 4 feet. We have vetted packing material/container companies such as MasterPak, HexcelPak and Kubox and are confident that these excellent resources will be of great value to you (which you choose depends on your unique needs) and are highly recommended for your consideration if shipping fragile items.
    • Does the item need to be braced away from the edges of the container? Anything touching the sides of a container is prime for damage (which any movement itself can cause as well). If this is above your own abilities, consider a reputable pack and ship store, a professional art or furniture packer/crater in your area to do the packing and shipping!
    • If there is more than one item being shipped in one package, creating compartments or boxing separately within the larger box should be considered to reduce the likelihood of damage. This is even more important if shipping items that are heavy. The laws of physics absolutely apply here!
    • Placing instruction stickers on the box (such as "Fragile" or "This End Up") does not miraculously create compassionate, white glove handling of a shipment. Disgruntled workers exist in most businesses. Your shipment could end up in the hands of an employee whose significant other just left with their dog that morning. Understand that there are also points in transit that humans are not involved (scanning/sorting machinery). During that step, the boxes will be placed on their broadest side regardless of what stickers you've placed on the box. Not to mention, loading cargo for timely delivery is literally a game of Tetris. Protect your contents by thinking about all sides/angles/positions that the box could be in during shipment!
    • If you are shipping geodes, they are not indestructible rocks! They are actually quite fragile crystal formations. You should call our office to get specific information necessary for approved packing of these beautiful items of nature.

Photo of a crowded trade show floor

RISK - Groups targeting dealers/collectors upon their exit!

  • Never travel alone! There is safety in numbers, especially since thieves typically work in groups.
  • Split the inventory between your employees/trusted helpers when in transit - especially when entering or leaving the show building.
  • Never take your hands or feet off your inventory case when in public areas.
  • Never take your inventory out of your case in an airport, hotel or other public area where the bad guys are definitely likely to hang out and watch for this sort of thing.
  • Never share a cab/Uber/Lyft with anyone you don't know.
  • Always have your cell ready when in your/rental car. Often, thieves will set it up for your tire to be flat soon after leaving or they will "car bump" you. Try to pull into a nearby gas station/police station. Do not get out of your car. Call 911 immediately and ask for advice/assistance.
  • If you have the option of an armed guard escort to your hotel or airport or even traveling with other dealers, choose to do so.
  • Remember that your inventory is not covered if you leave it unattended in your vehicle, hotel room, etc.
  • If you have a higher amount of inventory of high value to transport, consider using an armored car service (we would also insure this option).
  • If you have a higher amount of inventory of high value to transport, consider using an armored car service (we would also insure this option).

FUN FACT: Because we provide our services to include a pro-active stance against loss, we haven't had to raise our insurance rates in over ten years! We are in this together - let's be diligent and collaborative in the protection of our assets and livelihoods.
Photo of scam call on a cell phone

RISK: Scammers - They have upped their game during these last few years!

  • Let your recipients know, prior to shipping, that they should not sign for but refuse any shipment that shows signs of tampering or damage. The carrier will then return the package to the sender. This lets the recipient know your rules ahead of time, removes them from the equation (thus keeping the claim process as short as possible) and may deter a potential scammer from claiming they received an "empty" package.
  • Do not allow rerouting! You may have seen our alert on the website regarding circles identified as making contact with the seller or the carrier and stating they are the recipient and won't be home for the delivery and having the carrier take it to a pick up location (like Walgreens, WalMart, etc.). They then show up with a fake ID, with the name and address of the actual recipient, and walk off with the package. Only take these requests from trusted parties with whom you have a history.
  • Do NOT use drop boxes - EVER. These can indeed be compromised and cause issues if there should be a need for filing a claim. Should a claim be necessary, you should always have your receipt from a counter person so you can prove the carrier had it in their possession via the scan on the reported ship date, there's proof of a signature required (which can save you if they did not get a signature at point of delivery) and all information regarding that shipment is recorded.
  • If you haven't read the Shipping Instructions and FAQs sections on our website lately, it's worth your time to do so - knowing what is required and using the recommendations we provide allow our mutually respectful relationships with our members to stay intact and keeps our rates low.