ParceLive used to monitor transportation of Stradivarius violins

on December 3, 2019

Founded in 1986, Beta 80 Group is a provider of innovative technologies to empower companies and agencies in their digital transformation journey. With their headquarters in Milan, Beta 80 Group operates throughout Italy and internationally to design the best solution for each and every customer. Over the past few months, Beta 80 Group has engaged with Hanhaa as a reseller and integrator of ParceLive in Italy.

In collaboration with the Antonio Stradivari Violin Museum Foundation and ARS MOVENDI Florence, Beta 80 Group provided ParceLive trackers for the transportation of Stradivarius Violins to and from the exhibition “Los Violines de Cremona: Stradivari, the Barroco y mas àlla”. The exhibition took place in the International Museum of Barroco in Puebla, the capital of the homonymous state of the Mexican Federation. On show at the exhibition were 15 instruments from Andrea Amati to contemporaries, passing from Stradivari to Guarneri del Gesù, with particular emphasis on the Baroque period. The Violin Museum exhibits five centuries of violin making in Cremona and includes the works of the great master violin makers Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri.

ARS MOVENDI ES Logistica is a logistics organization founded in 1999 that packs, transports and ships fine art all over the world. In this instance, the instruments were being transported from Cremona, Italy, to Puebla, Mexico and back again. To ensure the safe delivery of all fine art shipments, ARS MOVENDI created the SafeBox®.  SafeBox® is a highly resistant, versatile, functional and lightweight protective box that guarantees maximum protection during handling or storage.

Although high-value shipments that are transported in SafeBox® are much less prone to damage, there is no way for ARS MOVENDI to monitor the condition of their deliveries while on the move without the application of external hardware. As the violins are made out of wood and delicate in nature, they are very susceptible to receiving damage either through poor handling or fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels that can cause the wood to split. To combat this, ARS MOVENDI sought the help of Beta 80 Group who attached ParceLive trackers to the SafeBox® to provide real-time visibility on the violin’s location, condition and security throughout the entire supply chain.

ParceLive inserted within SafeBox®

With the ParceLive tracker now accompanying the violins on their return journey back to Italy, ARS MOVENDI, the curator of the museum collection and Beta 80 Group have instant access to real-time data regarding whether or not the violins have been prone to shock, impact, tilting, shipment breeches and temperature and humidity readings outside of defined parameters.

The ParceLive trackers were programmed to feed data back to the online ParceLive portal every 30 minutes for added visibility.

From The International Baroque Museum in Puebla, the violins were flown to Mexico City International Airport for their departure to Rome, Italy.

ParceLive users are able to collect data from the whole delivery supply chain. Even when airborne, the ParceLive tracker is still actively reporting on its condition with the data being available as soon as the plane lands. This allows delivery systems to create meaningful workflows to address improvements and deliver competitive advantage and/or new efficiencies to users.

With a transparent view of the entire supply chain, ParceLive users are afforded a network insight that enables them to see what’s really happening and trending within their delivery network. Shipping professionals can identify pinch-points and inefficiencies in delivery networks to improve routing and select the best logistics suppliers.

Once the shipment landed in Rome, it was then transported North of Italy to Museo del Violino, Cremona, where the unique capacity to make bowed string instruments of refined workmanship is at the heart of the city’s identity.

“Thanks to ParceLive, we’re provided with a clear, in-depth analysis of the violin’s journey. Being able to relay information back to Museo del Violino ensures that our high standards of customer service remain prevalent with all our shipment requests.”

Antoine Carlier, Sales Manager, ARS MOVENDI Florence.
CallumParceLive used to monitor transportation of Stradivarius violins


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  • shannon - December 16, 2019 reply

    Hi, i read the article on transportation of Stradivarius violins. Was the important data also sent to a blockchain to record the information in an immutable manner? Thanks in advance!

    Gregg Alf - March 29, 2020 reply

    Hi Shannon,

    What a good question! I was a member of the Cremona team from the Museo del Violino. But, please allow me to respond as just a private violinmaker and owner of one of the instruments we displayed.

    The potential of blockchain for adding needed transparency and reliability to our field is immense, I believe. From your question, I’m guessing that you agree. Not just for transportation data, but also for provenance documents, condition reports, scientific studies, dendrochronology reports and tomography scans, …the list goes on. In the past, such information was limited to a fraction of what we collect today. Private papers, once tucked under the padding in an instrument’s case, are being scanned along with photos and all this other data into the private searchable databases owned by leading violin dealers.

    Private owners, who for the most part understand the cultural patrimony of their rare instruments, have not always been interested in, or privy to, this information. But, increasingly, ownership is shifting to public institutions, to museums and to private owners who have as their mission the desire to share. A blockchain network is ideal for this. Besides the two pillars of blockchain that we’ve mentioned thus far, transparency and immutability, there’s a third pillar that I feel could underscore the future of rare violin ownership.

    A blockchain network is also decentralized. This fits perfectly with the essence of such cultural items and indeed with the trends in ownership that are actually taking place. What better place than a blockchain to transparently, immutably and decentrally document the provenance, condition, specifications, repair history, and even the fractional ownership of a cultural treasure that we already regard as belonging to humanity?

    I’ve not directly answered your question about our instrument’s return journey to Cremona. Sorry. This is a relatively new technology and our field is infamous for focusing more the rear-view mirror than on the future. But please know that I am not alone. The recording and real-time broadcast or our shipment’s physical conditions is in itself a breakthrough. Many other violinmakers like myself are ‘on it’. If you have expertise in blockchain and an interest in rare violins, we would love to discuss it more with you, offline.

    Gregg Alf

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