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 waybill

Air 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);
  • When applicable, account numbers and IATA numbers (including CASS number);
  • Shipper information:
    • Shipper’s name
    • Phone number
    • Complete address, including postal code
  • Consignee information:
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Complete address, including postal code.
  • When applicable, 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, such as "keep cool", "keep away from direct sunlight", or "notify consignee upon arrival" (to be entered in the Handling Information section of the air waybill).
  • Flight number and date (mandatorynfor all shipments)
  • Exact piece count and exact dimensions for all pieces
  • Net weight of goods (not including ULDs), in kilograms
  • Complete "Description of contents"
  • If known, applicable rate class:
    • M: Minimum
    • N: Normal (under 45 kg)
    • Q: Quantitative rate (over 45 kg)
    • C: Specific commodity rate
    • 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 an X in the appropriate box.

Click on the links below to view examples of air waybills.

View the conditions of contract