International Shipping Check List


Weather you are obtaining a quote or ready to ship, here is a list of what you and your shipper will need to get things moving.

OCS Art Services can assist with the international documents (templates provided) and any questions related

  • Pick up Address
  • Destination Address
  • Details about both locations (ground floor, stairs, elevator, loading dock, lift-gate truck necessity)
  • Special Handling (packing / unpacking, installation / de-installation, crating / crate-removal)
  • Purpose for Shipping (Temporary Exhibition, Permanent Sale etc. . )
  • Customs Value
  • Commercial Invoice or Pro-Forma Invoice (showing shipper, consignee, commodity description and value)
  • Packing List (if there are more than 1 crates / packages)
  • Dates and Schedule
  • Labeling Crates / Packages (if OCS is not handling the export)
  • Condition Reports (if necessary)

Art Fair Prep



We’re all pro’s at handling Art Fairs at this point.  But it’s always nice having reminders and learning new tips.

  • Planning in advance –  The earlier the better.
  • Post Fair Planning – We often see many galleries arranging works going to the fair, but planning post fair is just as important and should be taken into account from the beginning.
  • Assistance during the fair  – It’s always a crunch after the fair is over: sales, packing up, figuring out how something is going to get to it’s new home, making your flight back.  Being prepared with your shipper in real time (even on weekends) is vital to making that happen.
  • LABELING – LABELING – LABELING  –  Make sure everything is labeled pre and post fair so there is no confusion.   Clearly written (or printed) including your shipper’s info on each piece and the number of works for them.
  • Local Phone Number – It can be difficult, but advisable that you have a local phone number to give to shippers / handlers.  They will not always be able to reach an international cell phone number.


Shipping Lingo

OCS has amassed a list of Domestic and International Shipping Terms and Acronyms to keep us on the same page with our clients and know when you need them.

General Terms

BOL – Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is a legally binding document that provides the carrier and shipper with all of the necessary details to accurately process a shipment. It has three main functions. First, it is a document of title to the goods described in the bill of lading. Secondly, it is a receipt for the shipped products. Finally, the bill of lading represents the agreed terms and conditions for the transportation of the goods.

POD – Proof of Delivery

ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival

ETD – Estimated Time of Departure

LTL – Less Than Truckload (Freight)

FTL – Full Truckload (Freight)

Freight Forwarder –

Merchant Processing Fee – MPF

Bond Fee-

Harbor Maintenance Fee – HMF

Custom Broker –

SLI – Shippers Letter of Instruction

POA – Power of Attorney

Know Shipper –

Unkown Shipper –