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Safeguarding Priceless Collections

A Valuable art collections must meet demanding insurance specifications during transport. Multiple vendors are often involved and, ideally, they should be rigorously vetted to ensure reliability and minimize risk. This assignment involved transporting a priceless art collection more than a thousand miles. Our role was complicated by the fact that we were not involved in selecting key vendors. We responded by building layers of extra protection into our security strategy.


To ensure that the irreplaceable artwork was delivered safely, we: 1) developed a detailed contingency plan for poor weather, road closures or delays, and equipment breakdowns; 2) mobilized back-up security along the travel route; 3) sprinkled GPS monitors throughout the shipment; 4) ensured that security team members had commercial trucking licenses; 5) followed the shipment with a second, covert security car in addition to the one required by insurance. When a truck broke down midway into the trip, a trusted local resource we had on alert quickly provided extra security guards and a new truck. A 20-hour trip took 40 hours instead. Our client slept soundly through the entire transport process, confident it would be successfully completed. It was.


Takeaways: When operational security is compromised, a workaround strategy is essential. Contingency planning is only as effective as the resources on tap in case of emergency. A “toolbox” approach is key to successful crisis management.

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