Kunsttrans: Tracking In-Transit Condition of High-End Artwork

April 29, 2024


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Co pied!

For Kunsttrans, Tracking In-Transit Conditions of High-End Artwork is Priceless

Kunsttrans is a logistics services provider based in Austria, specializing in handling high-value art shipments for a wide range of customers, including museums, galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and private collectors. As one might surmise, handling and transporting priceless works by the masters—think Raphael, Rembrandt, Monet, Gauguin, and van Gogh, to name a few—requires a highly orchestrated effort and meticulous attention to detail. Kunsttrans’ services include customized safe packing and transportation, fully climate-controlled warehousing, customs expertise, and logistics support services. How big is the market for Kunsttrans’ services? Consider that the aggregate sale of art and antiques by dealers and auction houses alone topped $65.1 billion in 2021, according to the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2022. Furthermore, the IMPACTS Experience predicts that “the current market potential for exhibit-based organizations for the calendar year 2022 is 95.5% of their pre-pandemic 2019 attendance. ”Kunsttrans constantly trains its employees in the logistics of handling and packaging high-value assets. The company strives to continuously improve its technology and modern art logistics processes to meet ever-increasing quality demands and requirements of its customers. That’s why Kunsttrans approached Tive in 2021, looking to add end-to-end real-time visibility to its services portfolio.


Kunsttrans partnered with logistics services provider Hasenkamp in 2009, creating the Art Alliance, a European-based logistics center for art and exhibition transportation that has a global reach. The alliance transports valuable cargo via trucks (throughout Europe) and air (internationally). Regardless of the mode used, tracking and tracing these valuable shipments comes with several challenges.

Museums have their own trackers (passive data loggers) that are very complicated. They only track one condition at a time, data is not available in real-time, and there is no way to tell. if there is an in-transit problem until it’s too late.

Given these tracking limitations and the value of the art, shippers usually insist a courier accompanies the shipment at every step, watching the packing/unpacking and sitting with
the shipment in a truck or on a plane. Clients pay for the courier’s time, flight, hotel, and other expenses, making this a very costly endeavor. Kunsttrans needed a deeper level of visibility that was easy to use and fit their model to provide a cost-effective, environmentally conscious transportation solution.

“No product on the market can simultaneously,
track all the conditions–location, humidity, light,
and acceleration–needed to ensure high-
value artwork won’t be damaged or stolen while
in transit. Plus, there was no way to guarantee
the trackers would not come free inside the crate
and damage the artwork.”

Andreas Kratohwil
CFO, Kunsttrans


Kunsttrans uses the Tive Solo 5G Non-lithium tracker for transporting artwork via truck (throughout Europe) or plane for international shipments. However, finding the right tracker to simultaneously monitor location, status, and all conditions in a single solution was only half the battle. Kunsttrans also needed to track the conditions inside each crate without the tracker coming loose and damaging the artwork treasures during transport.

Kunsttrans Creates Custom Case

The Solo 5G’s size—107 mm long by 61.5 mm wide by 19.5
mm deep—was ideal, but still needed to be secured to
prevent damage while the shipment was in transit. The
Kunsttrans team solved this challenge by using a 3D printer
to create a plastic holder that screws on the inside of the
crate to hold the Solo 5G Non-Lithium tracker in place.

“Now, we know for certain that the tracker will
not cause damage to our artwork shipments
while in transit.”

Andreas Kratohwil

Plus, the Tive tracker provides global coverage and can be programmed from anywhere in the world to provide real-time data that provides proof of conditions inside and outside of the crate that can be shared with customers instantly.


Kunsttrans started using Tive’s Solo 5G trackers in June 2021, and Kratohwil says “confidence and trust have never been higher among Kunsttrans clients.”

Using Tive helps Kunsttrans:

  • Demonstrate its unwavering commitment to providing innovation and results that satisfy customers’ demands.
  • Track any shipment’s location and conditions (humidity, light, acceleration, and shock) inside and outside of the crate, in real-time.
  • Provide customers with real-time alerts to mitigate disruptive events or avoid them altogether.
  • Ensure the trackers will not come loose inside a crate and cause damage during transit.
  • Control costs by eliminating the need for a courier to accompany artwork shipments.

Those benefits, coupled with Tive’s unparalleled speed and responsiveness in customer service, have Kunsttrans poised to roll out Tive’s visibility solution to other partners in the Kunsttrans Group.

“The trackers and application are so easy to
use. Trust is higher among clients because they
can see in real-time what is happening with
their high-value art shipments anywhere
in the world.”

Andreas Kratohwil