I need data on all flexports in the World, such as total number of artworks, value of works, their occupancy/capacity % and if there are any new flexports planned. Also how the capacity percentages have changed in the past 10 years.
Hello! Thanks for your question about freeports and the art industry.
In short, after searching extensively through government reports, industry news sources, and trusted media sites, I’ve determined that the information you requested is not publicly available because the companies operating freeports are not required to disclose this information. However, I was able to learn there are 10 major freeports that store art and that these range in size from 13,000 sq. ft. to 893,000 sq. ft.
Below, you will find the results of my research, along with my methodology.
In researching the answer to your question, I began by looking at major publications to get a sense of the freeport market. From these articles, it quickly became clear that the industry maintains high levels of secrecy and is not required by most governments to disclose the value of the art it stores. I next moved to government reports to see what information I could glean from them, but because of the disclosure issues they were unable to provide anything more than estimate. Finally, I searched through industry-specific publications to see what information might be present there, but again there was nothing more than estimates.
Once it became clear that most of the information you requested was not publicly available, I put together the estimates I collected to give a general sense of the current industry. I was able to find information about the number of freeports and plans for new freeports. I can only provide estimates for the total number of artworks, the total value of these works, and the occupancy/capacity percentages of freeports and how these have changed over the last decade, and if there are any new freeports planned.
Number & Size of Freeports
Today, there are 10 major freeports in the world that specialize in the storage of art, as well as a number of minor ones in Switzerland. Four of these majors one are in Switzerland, the traditional home of tax-free storage for the wealthy, with the two largest being in Geneva and Zurich. The other major ones are in Singapore (opened 2010); Monaco (opened 2012); Luxembourg and Beijing (opened 2014); and Newark, Del., (opened 2015), and New York City (opened 2017).
The capacity of these spaces ranges widely. Below are the approximate sizes or estimates of a select number of freeports:
Geneva — 560,000 sq. ft.
Singapore — 64,000 sq. ft.
Luxembourg — 215,000 sq. ft.
New York City — 110,000 sq. ft.
Newark, Del. — 36,000 sq. ft.
Beijing — 893,000 sq. ft.
Monaco — 13,000 sq. ft.
Total Number & Value of Artworks
While there is no reliable information about the number of pieces of art stored in freeports, nor their value, there are some publicly available estimates. According to estimates from the Swiss Federal Audit Office, there are over 1 million pieces of art in the Geneva Freeport alone, valued at over $100 billion.
Capacity Change & New Freeports
Since not every freeport reports its size and the percent of its storage that is occupied at any moment, it is impossible to discover the total change in capacity over the last decade. However, based on estimates and reports from the media, and given that all of the freeports outside of Switzerland were built in the last decade, I can provide an estimate. Given the reported sizes of the freeports outside of Switzerland, storage space in freeports has expanded by at least 1.89 million square feet in the last decade.
The most recently opened freeport was in New York City in July 2017. There are no current, public plans for the construction of new freeports.
To wrap it up, while the specific statistics to answer your question were not publicly available, I was able to find that there are 10 major freeports in the world that range in size from 13,000 square feet to 893,000 square feet and that storage space in freeports has expanded by at least 1.89 million square feet in the last decade.
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