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Download Air Waybill: How to Save Time and Money with e-AWB

Download Air Waybill: What You Need to Know

If you are shipping goods by air, you will need an air waybill (AWB) to document your shipment and track its progress. An AWB is a vital document that serves as a contract, a receipt, a certificate, and a customs declaration. In this article, we will explain what an AWB is, why you should download it, how to download it from different sources, how to fill it out correctly, and some examples of downloaded AWBs. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about AWBs.

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What is an air waybill (AWB)?

An air waybill (AWB) is a document that accompanies goods shipped by an international air courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked. The bill has multiple copies so that each party involved in the shipment can document it. An air waybill (AWB), also known as an air consignment note, is a type of bill of lading. However, an AWB serves a similar function to ocean bills of lading, but an AWB is issued in non-negotiable form, meaning there's less protection with an AWB versus bills of lading.

Definition and functions of an AWB

An air waybill (AWB) serves as a receipt of goods by an airline (the carrier), as well as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. Its a legal agreement thats enforceable by law. The AWB becomes an enforceable contract when the shipper (or shipper's agent) and carrier (or carrier's agent) both sign the document.

The airway bill will also contain the shipper's name and address, consignee's name and address, three-letter origin airport code, three letter destination airport code, declared shipment value for customs, number of pieces, gross weight, a description of the goods, and any special instructions (e.g., \"perishable\"). An AWB also contains the conditions of the contract that describe the carrier's terms and conditions, such as its liability limits and claims procedures, a description of the goods, and applicable charges.

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An airway bill is a standard form distributed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The main functions of an air waybill are:

  • Contract of Carriage: Behind every original of the Air Waybill are conditions of contract for carriage documents.

  • Evidence of Receipt of Goods: When the shipper delivers goods to be forwarded, he will get a receipt. The receipt is proof that the shipment was handed over in good order and condition and also that the shipping instructions, as contained in the Shipper's Letter of Instructions, are acceptable. After completion, an original copy of the air waybill is given to the shipper as evidence of the acceptance of goods and as proof of contract of carriage.

  • Freight Bill: The air waybill may be used as a bill or invoice together with supporting documents since it may indicate charges to be paid by the consignee, charges due to the agent or the carrier. An original copy of the air waybill is used for the carrier's accounting.

  • Certificate of Insurance: The air waybill may also serve as an evidence if the carrier is in a position to ensure the shipment and is requested to do so by the shipper.

  • Customs declaration : The air waybill may also serve as a customs declaration document, as it contains information such as the value and description of the goods, which may be required by the customs authorities of the destination country.

Types and formats of an AWB

There are two types of air waybills: master air waybill (MAWB) and house air waybill (HAWB). A master air waybill is issued by the main carrier of the goods and covers the entire transportation of the goods from the airport of departure to the airport of destination. A house air waybill is issued by a freight forwarder or a consolidator who groups several shipments into one master air waybill. A house air waybill covers only a part of the transportation, usually from the point of origin to the point of consolidation or vice versa.

There are also two formats of air waybills: paper and electronic. A paper air waybill is a physical document that is printed and signed by the parties involved in the shipment. A paper air waybill has 12 copies, each with a different color and purpose. An electronic air waybill (e-AWB) is a digital version of the paper air waybill that is transmitted electronically between the parties involved in the shipment. An e-AWB eliminates the need for printing, signing, and storing paper documents, and reduces errors, delays, and costs.

AWB number and how to track it

An AWB number is a unique identifier that is assigned to each shipment by the carrier or the freight forwarder. An AWB number consists of three digits that indicate the airline code, followed by eight digits that indicate the serial number of the AWB. For example, an AWB number 125-12345678 means that the shipment is carried by American Airlines (airline code 125) and has the serial number 12345678.

An AWB number allows the shipper, the consignee, and other parties involved in the shipment to track its status and location at any time. To track an AWB number, one can use online tools provided by the carrier, the freight forwarder, or third-party websites that offer AWB tracking services. By entering the AWB number and clicking on "Track", one can see information such as the origin, destination, flight details, transit points, delivery status, and estimated time of arrival of the shipment.

Why download an air waybill?

Downloading an air waybill can have several benefits for shippers, consignees, and other parties involved in the shipment. Some of these benefits are:

Benefits of downloading an AWB

  • Convenience: Downloading an AWB can save time and hassle for shippers and consignees who need to access or print their AWBs quickly and easily. Instead of waiting for a paper AWB to be delivered by mail or courier, they can download an AWB from their computer or mobile device at any time and place.

  • Accuracy: Downloading an AWB can reduce errors and discrepancies that may occur when filling out or transferring data from a paper AWB. By downloading an AWB from a reliable source, such as the carrier's website or a freight forwarder's portal, shippers and consignees can ensure that their AWBs contain accurate and consistent information that matches their shipment details.

  • Security: Downloading an AWB can enhance security and confidentiality for shippers and consignees who want to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access or tampering. By downloading an AWB from a secure source, such as an encrypted website or a password-protected portal, shippers and consignees can prevent their AWBs from being lost, stolen, or altered by third parties.

  • Sustainability: Downloading an AWB can contribute to environmental sustainability for shippers and consignees who want to reduce their paper consumption and waste. By downloading an AWB instead of using a paper AWB, shippers and consignees can save trees, water, energy, and emissions that are associated with paper production and disposal.

How to download an AWB from different sources

There are different sources from which shippers and consignees can download their AWBs. Some of these sources are:

  • Carrier's website: Shippers and consignees can download their AWBs from the carrier's website by entering their AWB number or other shipment details in the online tracking tool. For example, they can download their AWBs from American Airlines' website, Delta Air Lines' website, or United Airlines' website.

Freight forwarder's portal: Shippers and consignees can download their AWBs from the freight forwarder's portal by logging in with their username and password and accessing their shipment details. For example, they


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