My first job out of college was working in the office of a small craft/jewelry gallery. One of my responsibilties was shipping and receiving all the artwork and jewelry pieces that came in and out of the gallery. It was there that I learned some of the in and outs of shipping artwork. And also where I witnessed some terrible packing/shipping mistakes made by some of the artists.
In this global economy, it is entirely likely that you will find it necessary at some point to ship some of your artwork to a customer or to a gallery. Shipping artwork requires a special skillset that many of us don't have and very few of us are lucky enough to have someone show us the ropes.
It's been a long time since I've shipped work for a gallery so I thought I'd point you to someone who is still in the gallery biz and has recently published his own very comprehensive tutorial outlining how he ships 2d artwork, Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottdale Arizona. He's got all sorts of tips and tricks for safely packing artwork and the experience to back it up.
Up next, how to ship 3D artwork.