Mastering the Air Waybill
An air waybill (AWB) is a contract between the shipper and the carrier that states the terms and conditions of transportation. Completing the air waybill correctly speeds the shipment process and assists the carrier's accounting services. This eliminates billing errors and the need for issuing debit or credit notes.
How to complete an air waybillAir waybills must be completed in accordance with the applicable IATA rules and procedures. The following information must appear on all waybills:
- Type of service required (applies to domestic shipments only);
- Account numbers and IATA numbers (including CASS number);
- When applicable, shipper's phone number and complete address, including postal code;
- Consignee's phone number and complete street address, including postal code. A post office box address is accepted only if the shipment is travelling to a small community where street addresses are not used.
- Contract rate, spot rate or other special carrier rate applicable to the shipment (information to be entered in the Accounting Information section of the air waybill).
- Special information, attachments or instructions, e.g. "keep cool", "keep away from direct sunlight", "notify consignee upon arrival" or "hold for pick-up" (to be entered in the Handling Information section of the air waybill).
- Flight number and date (mandatory only for domestic priority shipments holding booked space);
- Exact piece count and exact dimensions for all pieces;
- Net weight of goods (not including ULDs), in kilograms;
- Complete "Description of contents";
- Applicable rate class:
- M: Minimum
- N: Normal (under 45 kg)
- Q: Quantitative rate (over 45 kg)
- C: Specific commodity rate
- R: Class rate - reduction
- S: Class rate - surcharge
- U: ULD rate (container)
- When applicable, specific commodity number (or class rate discount/surcharge percent);
- When applicable, ULD number and total number of pieces loaded into the container or onto the pallet
- Indication of whether the shipment is prepaid or collect by entering the weight charges or the words "PREPAID" or "COLLECT" in the Weight Charge box.
Click on the links below to view examples of air waybills.
- Domestic - loose shipment
- Domestic - container shipment
- Domestic - container shipment + loose load
- International - loose shipment
- International - shipment with contract rates
- International - interline shipment