When it comes to shipping musical instruments, especially delicate ones like the guitar, it’s important to take extra care to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. Whether you’re a musician who needs your guitar for a live recording session or a gig, or you’re buying or selling a valuable instrument, choosing the right method, packing material, and carrier is crucial. At SFL Worldwide, we specialize in transporting delicate and high value instruments, including packing them with the right packing material for musical instruments.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Method
Before you begin the process of delivering musical instruments, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right method for getting your instrument to the final destination:
Size and Weight
The size and weight of your instrument will determine the method you should use. For example, you can ship a guitar using a regular service. Unlike the guitar, larger and heavier instruments like pianos or drums will require a freight or specialized service.
The destination of your instrument will also affect the method you choose. International consignments will require additional documentation and customs forms, and you may need to use a carrier that specializes in international shipping.
If you need your instrument to arrive by a specific date, you’ll need to choose a method that can accommodate your timeline.
Use Special Packing Material, such as Gig Bag and Bubble Wrap
Musical instruments are delicate and complex objects that require special care and packing material, such as packing paper, a gig bag for guitars, and other packaging materials when being transported.
Guitars and other musical instruments are often made of fragile materials like wood or glass, so it is important to pack the guitar properly with no empty space when stowing away to avoid mishandled and damage during transit. Some of the risks associated with musical instruments include:
- Damage to the instrument’s body, neck, or headstock of the guitar or violin
- Scratches or dents on the finish or hardware
- String damage or breakage
- Structural damage from pressure or impact
- Temperature or humidity changes
To protect your instrument, be it a guitar or violin, it’s important to properly package it with the appropriate packing material and choose a reliable method for delivering your package.
What Musical Instruments Can I Ship?
Most musical instruments can be shipped, such as the guitar, keyboard, violin, and drums. However, some larger or more fragile instruments, such as electric guitars, may require special handling or packaging and shipping materials for transportation.
How to Ship a Guitar
One of the most common requests we get from musicians is how to ship a guitar. The guitar is one of the most commonly used instruments in the music industry, so it is important to use the right steps when shipping guitars.
Whether you are transporting acoustic guitars or electric guitars, it is important to know how to ship a guitar properly, as guitar shipping can be a complex process. They require additional shipping materials and attention, whether it is to loosen the strings or to place padding in the right places.
When you ship a guitar, it’s important to store guitars, strings, and all, in the original guitar case and use the right packing material to ship the guitar. Take extra care with enough packing material to protect the guitar and its parts, such as its delicate neck joint and headstock. Here are some tips for properly shipping a guitar:
- Carefully pack your guitar by loosening the strings completely and removing any accessories or detachable parts. This helps to prevent strings snapping in the moving process.
- Evaluate the first box the guitar was packaged in. You may be better off using a newer hard case to ship a guitar if there are safety concerns. Use a sturdy, new box that’s the appropriate size for your guitar to prevent the guitar moving in transportation. Consider double boxing or even using a rectangular box, guitar gig bag, guitar box, or guitar case.
- Use bubble wrap, air cushions, packing peanuts, and other cushioning materials for parts, such as the neck and whammy bar, to add a couple layers and enough protection to prevent it from shifting inside the box.
- Fill any spaces in the box with packing paper and other protective materials for safe shipping and to prevent the guitar inside from moving around during transit.
- Close and use the right packaging tape to the box when shipping a guitar internationally securely with packing tape. Do the shake test to send your guitar safely.
- Attach the label to the package when shipping guitars at the post office, and consider purchasing insurance to protect your guitar during transit.
How to Ship a Keyboard
Keyboards are considered fragile items. To transport a keyboard, it’s important to protect the keys and delicate internal components. Here are some tips to properly ship a keyboard:
- Carefully prepare your keyboard for transportation by removing any accessories, pedals, stands, and other loose parts.
- Use a sturdy, new box that will keep the keyboard secure even when you shake the box. Make sure it’s the appropriate size and has the right amount of space for your keyboard. Consider using a hardshell case or keyboard case.
- Use bubble wrap, foam padding, packing paper, kraft paper, or packing peanuts to cushion the keyboard and prevent it from shifting inside the box.
- Fill any empty spaces in the box with packing materials to prevent the keyboard from moving around during transit.
- Finish packing by closing and taping the shipment securely with packaging tape.
- Attach the logistics label for your shipment, and consider purchasing insurance from the shipping store to cover the entire cost of the equipment and protect your keyboard during transit.
How to Ship a Violin
A violin is similar to that a guitar. They are both string instruments. Like the guitar, the violin requires careful handling. Packing the violin follows similar procedures to that of a guitar. When transporting a violin, it’s important to protect the delicate bridge and neck and loosen the strings. Here are some tips for properly sending a violin overseas:
- Carefully pack your violin by loosening the strings, just like you would in a guitar, and removing the bridge, neck, tailpiece, and chinrest. Wrap the strings and loosened items in secure open spaces within the box using bubble wrap.
- Use a sturdy, new box that’s the appropriate size for your violin. Consider using large boxes, a hard case, a rectangular box, or a specific violin shipping box. You cannot repurpose guitar cases and use that for storing your violin.
- Use bubble wrap or packing paper to secure and wrap the violin neck and body, and seal with packing tape. Add extra padding to the neck, body, corners, and sides of the box to prevent damage.
- Fill any empty spaces in the box with packing materials, especially for parts, such as the neck, to prevent the violin from moving around during transit.
- Close and tape the box securely with packing tape.
- Attach the shipping label to the box, and consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect your violin during transit.
How to Ship a Drum
Unlike the guitar, packing a drum for shipment can be a complex procedure. When shipping drums, it’s important to protect the drum heads and hardware. Here are some tips for properly shipping drums:
- Carefully prepare your drums for shipping by removing the drum heads, hardware, and accessories. Wrap these items separately in bubble wrap.
- Use a sturdy, new box that’s the appropriate size for your drums. Consider using a rectangular box or drum shipping box.
- Use bubble wrap, foam padding, packing paper, or packing peanuts to cushion the drums and minimize the vacant space to prevent them from shifting inside the box.
- Fill any spaces in the box with packaging materials to prevent the drums from moving around during transit.
- Close and tape the shipment securely with packing tape.
- Attach the shipping label to the shipment, and consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect your drums during transit.
Shipping Musical Instruments for the legendary M. M. Keeravani of RRR
At SFL Worldwide, we have helped several musicians bring their musical instruments to several places across the globe in the past. This includes Oscar winner, the legendary Mr. M.M. Keeravani, who blew us away with his magical music in the Telugu movie “RRR”. We are trusted logistics partners for his team and have helped get his beloved musical instruments, such as his guitar and percussion instruments, to his shows across the world.
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Choosing SFL Worldwide for Shipping Musical Instruments
At SFL Worldwide, we understand the unique challenges of shipping delicate musical instruments, such as the guitar or violin. String instruments, such as the guitar, require a very specific way of packaging. Unlike drums, the guitar has a wooden body that can easily dent the transit process if it is not packed properly. And we understand the importance a guitar holds in a concert or for your live recording sessions.
That’s why we offer specialized shipping services and complete courier services, such as to pack guitar and other instruments, delivery tracking, handling customs fees, and identifying restricted materials that prioritize the safety and security of your instrument during transit.
You can hire our packing experts to package your instruments, such as the guitar, for overseas transportation at an extra cost. Our team of experts has experience in packing and shipping a wide range of musical instruments, from guitar to violin to piano. We use only the highest quality materials and pack your instruments for a small fee. Whether it is a guitar or a violin, we assure you of the appropriate shipping methods to ensure your guitar and other instruments arrive in the same condition as when they left your hands.
In addition, you can find the cheapest way and the lowest cost for shipping musical instruments with our wide range of options to ship at no extra cash, including air freight, ocean freight, and ground shipping. We also provide shipping insurance options to cover the cost of your instrument and protect you in case of damage or loss during transit. When you choose SFL Worldwide to ship your musical instrument, you can rest assured that it’s in good hands.
Whether you’re shipping a guitar or a violin, shipping musical instruments requires special care and attention to ensure they start their journey at the post office and arrive safely at their destination. By properly packaging and protecting your instrument, choosing the right shipping method and carrier, and considering shipping insurance, you can help ensure a successful shipping experience. When it comes to shipping delicate and high-value items like musical instruments, choosing a reliable and experienced carrier like SFL Worldwide can provide added peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized shipping services for musical instruments.
I’m Tammy Waller, a supply chain and logistics specialist with over 10 years of expertise. I’ve been an author and SFL employee for over 10 years.
As an author, I’ve been able to teach others. I love guiding users through supply chain and logistics operations.
I have substantial experience managing logistics operations, supply chain management, transportation, inventory management, and warehousing in shipping-moving and logistic services. I’ve worked on many worldwide logistics and supply chain projects, honing my abilities in negotiating rates, scheduling shipments, and managing vendors.