Shipping 101 Shipping 101

Shipping 101

First time shipping? It’s important to understand the overall shipping process and what to expect. To get you started, this section outlines some of the key shipping topics that you need to know about before booking a shipment. Use the tabs above to access more detailed information about each topic.

Air Waybills
Every shipment requires an “air waybill” or AWB. This is the contract between the shipper and the carrier that states the terms and conditions of transportation. It is essential for your AWB to be complete and accurate.

Security
All shipments must be screened for security purposes. This means that they must be packaged appropriately to allow for screening. Security screening requirements may vary by country.

Customs
If you are shipping out of country, your shipment will need to clear customs in the destination country. It is your responsibility to provide any support documentation with your shipment that will be needed by customs in the destination country.

Shipping to France
If you are shipping to or from France, requires you to calculate and report CO2 emissions related to your shipment.

Shipping Containers
You will need to ensure that your cargo is packed for easy transport and handling, using approved shipping containers or “unit load devices.” Acceptable shipping containers vary depending on your shipping needs and the aircraft. View our Fleet and ULDs

Your Responsibility

As a shipper, you have a responsibility to ensure that your shipment is “ready for carriage.” This means that your shipment is in compliance and that you’ve met all of the requirements outlined on the Shipping Requirements page for your shipping solution.

To review your shipping requirements, select your shipping solution.

Not sure which solution is best for your shipment? Use our Ready to Ship tool for help.

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News
Updates about services, products and regional considerations
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Tender and Retrieval
Tender and Retrieval
Find out when to drop off and pick up shipments.

Air Waybills

An air waybill is a contract between Air Canada Cargo and you that details the terms for transporting your shipment. The Air Waybill must be completed in accordance with the applicable IATA rules and procedures.

You can also complete your Air Waybill electronically with e-Air Waybill.

Filling in your Air Waybill

Required Information Description
Account numbers and IATA numbers (including CASS number), when applicable
Shipper information (the person sending the shipment) Shipper’s name, phone number and complete address, including postal code
Consignee information (the person the shipment is going to) Consignee’s name, phone number and complete address, including postal code
Contract rate, spot rate or other special carrier rate, when applicable 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 Mandatory for all shipments
Exact piece count and exact dimensions for all pieces
Net weight of goods (not including Unit Load Devices), in kilograms
Complete "Description of contents"
Applicable rate class, if known M: Minimum
N: Normal (under 45 kg)
Q: Quantitative rate (over 45 kg)
C: Specific commodity rate
U: ULD rate (container)
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, when applicable
Indication of prepayment or collection required, by entering an X in the appropriate box

Example of an Air Waybill

International.pdf

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News
Updates about services, products and regional considerations
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e-AWB
e-AWB
Get started with e-AWB today!

Security Screening

As of October 17, 2016, all shipments originating from Canada must be deemed secure according to the guidelines set by Transport Canada and the Transport Security Administration (TSA).

For new or general shippers, this means that you must package or prepare your shipment in a way that allows for adequate screening of the contents for security purposes. If your shipment is not packaged in a way that can be screened to a satisfactory standard, it may be broken down into smaller pieces in order to obtain a clear image.

For packaging instructions, please see the Shipping Requirements page for your shipping solution.

Security Screening Fees

Security screening fees vary. Please visit Rates, Charges and Fees for details.

Security Screening Requirements

Transport Canada Air Cargo Security Program Update

October 17 marks the start of Transport Canada's changes to the Air Cargo Security Program.

This is an important change that concerns all of us involved in air freight.

WORKING TOGETHER


Over the past several months, we at Air Canada Cargo have been working to ensure we are fully prepared to ensure the transition to this new program is smooth. We've encouraged our customers and partners to apply in time to the new program. 
We're also investing. We will increase the number of onsite screening agents at our key Canadian stations to accommodate additional volume of screenings and invest in additional equipment.

BEING PREPARED


If your business has already applied to Transport Canada's Transport Canada's Air Cargo Security Program, make sure you are prepared when your file comes up for review by Transport Canada to avoid delays. 
If you have not yet applied to Transport Canada's Air Cargo Security Program, Transport Canada will continue to process all application received beyond October 17. As the approval process can take up to 6 months, it is important for your business to submit as soon as possible.

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION

As partners in the secure chain, it is important that we all work together. Gere are a few things you can do to help make this transition smooth:

  • As October 17 approaches, make sure everyone in your organization is aware of the changes.
  • Talk to your drivers. Let them know this change is coming.
  • Ensure your shipments are tendered with all the proper paperwork filled out.
  • Keep peak periods in mind, and when possible tender ahead of times that are likely to be busy.

For more information regarding Transport Canada's Air Cargo Security Program, please visit Transport Canada's website, or call their Air Cargo Security Support Centre at 1-866-375-7342.

Download the Supply Chain Member Fact Sheet

Download the Shipper Fact Sheet

For the United States

Transport Canada requires that all shipments departing from Canada and destined to the United States, including shipper loaded units, be security screened, and must also have originated from a Known Consignor or an Account Consignor. Some exceptions apply. 

For freight transiting London, UK, by air

The UK Department for Transport requires that all shipments transiting beyond LHR by air, including shipper loaded units, must be security screened at the piece level.  For this reason, shipper loaded units cannot be accepted for transit beyond LHR by air.

Attention freight forwarders and commercial shippers:

Air carriers, freight forwarders, screening facilities, cargo handling agents, agents, warehouses, trucking companies, packing companies and shippers can register to become a Regulated Agent, Certified Agent, Known Consignor, Account Consignor, Authorized Cargo Administrator or a CCFS (Certified Cargo Screening Facility). This will avoid possible delays and screening fees. You can register online at Transport Canada or the Transport Security Administration (TSA).

Procedures

The procedures are described below and apply equally to freight that is traveling on trucks to Canada for furtherance.

  • Prior to off-loading or accessing freight in the warehouse, ALL customers and drivers will be required to present themselves to a customer service agent
  • Regulated Agents, Certified Agents and Known Consignors must tender with a completed Canadian Secure Cargo Declaration form with each Master Air Waybill.
  • Customer service agents will determine if screening is required or not, and give direction for off-load accordingly.
  • All freight will be off-loaded, weighed and dimensions will be taken.
  • Shipments that do not require carrier screening will be taken directly to sortation and build-up.
  • Shipments that require carrier screening will be screened prior to sortation and build-up.
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Customs

When you ship internationally, your shipment will need to clear customs in the destination country. You will need to understand and comply with the customs requirements for that country. Our booking representatives will help you with this when you call to book a shipment. We also encourage you to research the customs requirements for your destination country to prepare for your shipment.

Attention freight forwarders and commercial shippers:

This section provides key regulatory updates as they apply to the handling of cargo.

Customs - Canada

Advance Cargo Information (ACI) for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Electronic reporting of cargo information is required for all inbound flights to Canada and these requirements must be complied with in their entirety.

Air carriers or freight forwarders are accountable for all shipments at both the master (MAWB) and house air waybill (HAWB) levels.

Complete disclosure of all shipments is required for all inbound flights.

HAWB data is required at goods acceptance. Forwarders and all shippers have three options

  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information directly to Customs
  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information via Cargo Portal Services (CPS)
  • Manual delivery of paper documentation to Air Canada Cargo for forwarding to Customs

Forwarders and shippers who opt to report directly will be permitted to do so, provided a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Air Canada Cargo exists, transferring all liability for accuracy and completeness of data to the forwarder/shipper. Should no HAWB exist in our system at time of goods acceptance, a manual charge fee will be assessed to the forwarder/shipper. In addition to transferring details to Air Canada Cargo, forwarders and shippers will be expected to provide the following documents at time of shipment acceptance:

  • Copy of the MAWB document,
  • In an additional envelope, a minimum of two copies of the detailed consolidation manifest, which shall include for each HAWB:
    • the ultimate shipper and consignee,
    • a complete detailed description of the goods being shipped and
    • number of pieces and weight.
  • For unitized shipments, a complete and accurate detailed consolidation manifest that includes:
    • every HAWB, and
    • the number of pieces and weight associated with each HAWB within each unit tendered.

In accordance with the Canada Border Services Agency's ACI regulations, Air Canada Cargo must ensure that the HAWB information sent electronically is timely, accurate and complete. This may require Air Canada Cargo to provide additional handling and electronic processing of shipments.

For House Air Waybill submission charges (per HAWB), see Rates, Charges and Fees.

Air Canada Customs Sufferance Warehouse Codes

The Customs Sufferance Warehouse Codes assigned to Air Canada are reserved solely for individuals who have a requirement to obtain such a code. Air Canada reserves the right to monitor any and all activity to its Customs Sufferance Warehouse Codes.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website lists Customs Sufferance Warehouse Codes for each province and territory alphabetically by warehouse name.

Customs - United States

Advance Air Cargo Manifest (ACM) For U.S. Customs

Electronic reporting of cargo information is required for all inbound flights to the U.S.A. and these requirements must be complied with in their entirety.

Air carriers or freight forwarders are accountable for all shipments at both the master air waybill (MAWB) and house air waybill (HAWB) levels.

Complete disclosure of all shipments is required for all inbound flights. HAWB data is required at goods acceptance. Forwarders and all shippers have three options:

  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information directly to Customs
  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information via Cargo Portal Services (CPS)
  • Manual delivery of paper documentation to Air Canada Cargo for forwarding to Customs

Should no HAWB exist in our system at time of goods acceptance, a manual charge fee will be assessed to the forwarder/shipper.

In addition to transferring details to Air Canada Cargo, forwarders and shippers will be expected to provide the following documents at time of shipment acceptance:

  • Copy of the MAWB document,
  • In an additional envelope, a minimum of two copies of the detailed consolidation manifest, which shall include for each HAWB:
    • the ultimate shipper and consignee,
    • a complete detailed description of the goods being shipped, and
    • number of pieces and weight.
  • For unitized shipments, a complete and accurate detailed consolidation manifest that includes:
    • every HAWB, and
    • the number of pieces and weight associated with each HAWB within each unit tendered.

In accordance with U.S. Customs regulations, Air Canada Cargo must ensure the HAWB information sent electronically is timely, accurate and complete. This may require Air Canada Cargo to provide additional handling and electronic processing of shipments.

For House Air Waybill submission charges (per HAWB), see Rates, Charges and Fees.

Air Canada Firms Warehouse Codes

The Warehouse Firms Codes assigned to Air Canada are reserved solely for individuals who have a requirement to obtain such a code. Air Canada reserves the right to monitor any and all activity to its Warehouse Firms Codes.

Customs - India

Indian Customs Message (IGM)

Electronic reporting of cargo information is required for all inbound flights to India and these requirements must be complied with in their entirety. Air carriers or freight forwarders are accountable for all shipments at both the master (MAWB) and house air waybill (HAWB) levels.

Complete disclosure of all shipments is required for all inbound flights. HAWB data is required at goods acceptance. Forwarders and all shippers have three options:

  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information directly to Customs
  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information via Cargo Portal Services (CPS)
  • Manual delivery of paper documentation to Air Canada Cargo for forwarding to Customs

Forwarders and shippers who opt to report directly will be permitted to do so, provided they forward to Air Canada Cargo a 16 Digit Number on the MAWB, assigned by Indian Customs, transferring all liability for accuracy and completeness of data to the forwarder/shipper.

Should no HAWB exist in our system at time of goods acceptance and/or no 16 Digit Number exist on the MAWB, a manual charge fee will be assessed to the forwarder/shipper.

In addition to transferring details to Air Canada Cargo, forwarders and shippers will be expected to provide the following documents at time of shipment acceptance:

  • Copy of the MAWB document,
  • In an additional envelope, a minimum of two copies of the detailed consolidation manifest, which shall include for each HAWB:
    • the ultimate shipper and consignee,
    • a complete detailed description of the goods being shipped, and
    • number of pieces and weight
  • For unitized shipments, a complete and accurate detailed consolidation manifest that includes:
    • every HAWB,
    • the number of pieces and weight associated with each HAWB within each unit tendered.

In accordance with IGM requirements by Indian Customs, Air Canada Cargo must ensure the HAWB information sent electronically is timely, accurate and complete. This may require Air Canada Cargo to provide additional handling and electronic processing of shipments.

For House Air Waybill submission charges (per HAWB), see Rates, Charges and Fees.

Customs - Cuba

Advance Cargo Information (ACI) For Cuba Customs (Aduana General de la Republica de Cuba)

Electronic reporting of cargo information is required for all inbound flights to Cuba and these requirements must be complied with in their entirety. Air carriers or freight forwarders are accountable for all shipments at both the master (MAWB) and house air waybill (HAWB) levels.

Complete disclosure of all shipments is required for all inbound flights.

HAWB data is required at goods acceptance. Forwarders and all shippers have two options:

  • Electronic transfer of the FHL2 message information via Cargo Portal Services (CPS)
  • Manual delivery of paper documentation to Air Canada Cargo for forwarding to Customs
  • Forwarders/shippers are not permitted to report directly.

Should no HAWB exist in our system at time of goods acceptance, a manual charge fee will be assessed to the forwarder/shipper. In addition to transferring details to Air Canada Cargo, forwarders and shippers will be expected to provide the following documents at time of shipment acceptance:

  • Copy of the MAWB document,
  • In an additional envelope, a minimum of two copies of the detailed consolidation manifest, which shall include for each HAWB:
    • the ultimate shipper and consignee,
    • a complete detailed description of the goods being shipped, and
    • number of pieces and weight
  • For unitized shipments, a complete and accurate detailed consolidation manifest that includes:
    • every HAWB,
    • the number of pieces and weight associated with each HAWB within each unit tendered.

In accordance with Cuba's ACI regulations, Air Canada Cargo must ensure the HAWB information sent electronically is timely, accurate and complete. This may require Air Canada Cargo to provide additional handling and electronic processing of shipments.

For House Air Waybill submission charges (per HAWB), see Rates, Charges and Fees.

Customs - China

People's Republic of China Official Customs Authority Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Air Cargo Reporting

Prior to tendering and acceptance of freight, the following advance commercial information must be provided to Air Canada Cargo for forwarding to Chinese Customs in Shanghai (PVG) and Beijing (PEK). China's Official Customs Authority requires exact shippers and consignees information on all imported merchandise, both at the Master Airway Bill Level and House Air Waybill Level.

The following information is required for both the Shipper and the Consignee:

  • Full description of goods (e.g.: "NEWSPAPER" instead of "DOCUMENTS"; "Pharmaceutical Products" instead of "PHARMA")
  • Complete name of Shipper and Consignee
  • Street number and street name
  • Full city name
  • Full Province or State Name
  • Country Name

In accordance with China's ACI regulations, Air Canada Cargo must ensure the HAWB information sent electronically is timely, accurate and complete. This may require Air Canada Cargo to provide additional handling and electronic processing of shipments.

Please be also advised that direct transmission by the customer is not authorized by Chinese Customs.

For House Air Waybill submission charges (per HAWB), see Rates, Charges and Fees.

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Shipping to France:
Grenelle Law

France's Grenelle Law requires transport companies to inform the beneficiaries of their services of the CO2 emissions related to the transportation of their goods. It applies to all transport services that originate or terminate at a French airport.

In accordance with the Grenelle Law, Air Canada Cargo is providing CO2 emissions information for select flights originating at a French airport.

The CO2 emissions information provided by Air Canada Cargo represents an estimate and meant to be used for information purposes only.

About our data:

  • Flights are operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Express.
  • Flights shown are direct or include one stop with transit points in Montreal or Toronto; flights with multiple transit points are not shown.
  • Flights shown are one way.
  • Calculations are based on information from the online calculator of France's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), as directed by Grenelle Law guidance material; Air Canada Cargo assumes no liability for the accuracy of the information or methodology used to estimate CO2 emissions.
  • Estimates are presented in kg of CO2 per kg of cargo.  For the CO2 emissions of a shipment, the weight of the shipment (in kg) must be multiplied with the corresponding factor shown in the table.
  • Estimates are for the air transport portion of the shipment from airport to airport and do not include any land transport.

For any questions on the application of the Grenelle Law with respect to Air Canada Cargo, please write to environment@aircanada.ca.

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Shipping Requirements

To meet performance expectations and current regulatory and security control requirements, Air Canada Cargo adheres to a rigorous goods acceptance process. All shipments must meet and follow all applicable IATA regulations.

Shipper's Responsibility

You have a responsibility to ensure that your shipment complies with all applicable rules and regulations and is acceptable for transport (packaged appropriately, properly identified and labeled, and accompanied by all required documentation).

Shipping Requirements

The following outlines key requirements according to IATA regulations and recommended practices, including, IATA Recommended Practices 1601, 1670 and IATA Resolution 600 a/b and 606:

Compliance

Shipments are only acceptable for transportation when the shipper, consignee or owner has complied with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing the transportation of the shipment.

Air waybill

The air waybill must be accurate and complete in all respects. It must include the weight, number of pieces, dimensions, nature of goods, all information required by Customs and known/unknown security status. The air waybill must also contain the conditions of contract. An e-Air Waybill is also acceptable (where authorized).

How to complete an Air Waybill

Note: Any adjustments made to an Air Waybill that could impact the expected billing amount, such as re-weighing, calculating or re-calculating the dimensional weight of your shipment, will be communicated to the shipper with a Notice of Correction. This Notice of Correction will be sent electronically to your attention.

Attention Freight Forwarders:

When applicable, complete House AWB information must be available for manual input or electronically transmitted to either Air Canada or directly to Customs.

Documentation

All documents necessary for determining the nature of the goods, along with export, import or transit documents required by Customs or any governmental body, must be completed and/or checked and must accompany the air waybill.

Electronic submission of this information is also acceptable (where authorized) following IATA procedures and standards.

Packing your shipment

Shipments must be packed in a way that allows for security screening and to ensure that it can be carried safely with ordinary care in handling. In addition, the volume and weight of your shipment when tendered must match those in your booking.

For dangerous goods, valuables or articles of extraordinary value, follow the shipping requirements in the corresponding AC Solution.

Marking and labelling the shipment

All packages in the consignment must be marked with the consignee's name, street and city address, including ZIP/postal code (as on the Air Waybill) OR, have one or more packages marked with this information with an appropriate reference on all other packages in the consignment.

A completed cargo identification label or stencil must be attached to each package. Labels must be fully visible and all old labels and markings must be obliterated.

Specialized shipments must be identified with the appropriate label for live animals, dangerous goods or perishables.

Security adherence

All shipments undergo security screening and must be prepared for carriage according to the security control instructions provided by the National Authority and any additional instructions provided by Air Canada Cargo.

Note: Any cargo that cannot be screened to a satisfactory standard may be broken down into smaller pieces in order to obtain a clear image. Breakdown and build-up fees may apply. See Security screening fees in Rates, Charges and Fees.


Air Canada Cargo Acceptance Requirements

Shipments are acceptable for transportation when:

  • The shipper, consignee or owner complies with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing transport of the shipment.
  • It is agreed that the goods shipped are accepted in apparent good order, are properly packaged, are in a condition for carriage that is in conformity with IATA regulations, and are subject to the conditions of the contract (the Air Waybill).
  • Shipments are delivered on time and have a confirmed booking from origin to destination.
  • Volume and weight match the booking at time of acceptance.

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Shipper's Checklist

Our goal it to provide you with a smooth, seamless shipping experience. This Shipper's Checklist will help you know what to expect and the things you can do at each step in the shipping process to help us make your experience even better.

Before You Book

For fast and easy booking, follow this checklist to make sure you've got what you need before you call to book your shipment.

Make sure you can ship your cargo

Check IATA regulations, customs requirements and country-specific shipping requirements and restrictions to ensure that you can ship your cargo.

Determine your route and destination

Due to some aircraft types, weight, weather and regulatory restrictions, we may not be able to transport your shipment to all the destinations we serve. Your Air Canada Cargo agent will help you determine the best route based on your shipping needs. Routes & Network

Know the details about your shipment

This includes weight, number of pieces, dimensions, nature of goods and all information required by Customs.

Select your Service Level and shipping options

What Service Level do you prefer (Standard or Priority1)? Do you require a shipping container? Are you planning to use GPS tracking? Be prepared to discuss your shipping options.

Have the shipping and receiving information ready
  • Shipper's name, address, telephone numbers
  • Consignee/recipient name, address, telephone numbers
  • City of origin and destination
Understand the shipping costs

Note that shipping rates can vary significantly depending on the solution, service level and options that you select. Your Air Canada Cargo agent will help you evaluate your shipping needs and total shipping costs. General information about Rates, Charges and Fees.

Arrange your booking

Know how to .

Ready to book? Contact Air Canada Cargo

Before Tendering Your Shipment

Ready to drop-off your shipment? Make sure the tender process goes smoothly by following these steps to ensure your shipment is ready for carriage.

Have your Air Waybill ready

For details about filling in your AWB see Air Waybill.

Know your Booking Confirmation number

This will be provided when your booking is complete.

Gather all required documentation

This will include any applicable forms, declarations or disclosure documents required for your shipment.

Ensure that your shipment is ready for carriage

This involves proper packaging, appropriate labelling and identification and ensuring that all shipments are in compliance with all general IATA shipping requirements. See .

Check the weight and dimensions of your shipment

They must match with the details provided on your AWB.

Know where and when to tender your shipment

For more information visit .

IATA Regulations
IATA Regulations
Important information and updates