Airforwarders Association FORWARD Magazine, Fall 2018

AfA Special Features 24 Forward Magazine Q Fall 2018 Airforwarders Association Racine has watched the fine art transport industry grow literally from the ground up. She has seen the air freight industry transform into a world that is automated, impersonal and highly regulated. The FBI crack down in the 80s after the infamous Lufthansa heist, (portrayed in the movie “Goodfellas”) forever changed the way airlines at JFK handle freight. After 9/11, security today is completely different. Racine remembers the days where one could talk their way into putting paintings in the first class cabin that truly did not fit (i.e. strapping works behind the last seats in the first class row.) Or convincing a pilot to carry ancient scroll fragments in the cockpit. “RBA has always had stringent security protocols because we have such incredible liability,” Racine explains. RBA employs a multitude of protocols for proper handling, packing, security and more. As fine art shippers, RBA is very knowledgeable about what museums require. The TSA “layered” approach to security has understandably How Does it Feel to Celebrate Thirty Years in the World of Fine Art Transport? Interview With Racine Berkow, President – RBA- Racine Berkow Associates, Inc. By Ilana Wharshavsky added a whole host of additional compliance requirements. This has been challenging for the art shipping industry as it adds another layer of cost, handling, and administration. Racine went on to say that in the world of fine art transport price and service vary. There is a big difference between someone with a truck who calls himself “a fine art shipper” and an established company with millions of dollars in liability insurance, like RBA. Security is not the only factor that has drastically changed this industry. The value of the artwork that RBA handles has markedly increased. A million dollar shipment was once considered very high value. In her analysis of The Art Market Report 2018, Economist Dr. Clare McAndrew explains, “While dealers that are turning over $1-50 million saw the strongest uplift in sales, those that made less than a Managing to mark thirty years in the ever changing and fast–moving freight forwarding industry is no easy feat. Just ask Racine Berkow, President of RBA. As one of the pioneering women in the fine art shipping industry, Racine recently reflected how the industry has changed over the years and where it is going.

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