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About Air WaybillBy Expert Author: Chengu Khenta
An Air waybill or AWB in short is a type of billing that serves as a receipt of goods and as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. This bill includes the terms and conditions related to the carriage, and also limits, liability, descriptions of goods, claims and procedures. It also includes details like the applicable charges of the goods. There is a standard format that is adopted by the airline industry all over the world for both domestic and industrial traffic. An AWB is a non-negotiable instrument. It does not specify on which flight it will be sent, or when it will reach its destination. The forwarder’s AWB is known as air bill or consignment note.
Description of the bill
The Air Waybill is the most important document that is issued by a carrier through an authorized agent or directly. This document is non-negotiable. It covers all the details of the transport of the cargo from one airport to another. The AWB has an eleven digit number. These can be used to check delivery reports, make a booking, and the current position of the shipment. The number is divided into three parts. These sections consist of:
4. The IATA number assigned to the airline. This is the first three digits of the AWB number. Therefore, it can be known that which airline issued the document from the first three digits of the number.
5. The next seven digits are running numbers. This is the consignment serial number.
6. The last digit that follow are known as the check digit. These digits are generated in the following manner:
Using long division calculation, the seven digit running number is divided by seven and the remainder is the check digit. That is why the last digit of an AWB is never greater than 6.
Air Waybills have colored copies. The first three copies are the original copies. The first blue colored copy is the shipper’s copy. The second orange copy is the consignee’s copy. The final yellow copy is the proof of delivery. All other copies are white.
Applications of the AWB
There are many uses of an Air Waybill. These are as follows:
•Contract of carriage: The back page of an AWB, there are terms and conditions of contract for carriage.
•Evidence of the receipt of goods: When the shipper delivers the goods that are to be forwarded, he gets a receipt. It is the proof that the goods were handed over in good conditions. It might also contain shipping instructions.
•Freight bill: The AWB is used as an invoice too. It is used along with other supporting documents, which mentions the charges that the consignee needs to pay.
•Certificate of Insurance: The bill serves as a proof that the carrier is in the position to ship all the goods as needed by the shipper.
•Customs Declaration: The IATA format of the AWB is applicable for both domestic and international usage. The AWB is the proof that the shipment may be needed to be presented for customs clearance. The AWBs have the flowing information”
o Airline logo
o The name of the carrier
o Its logo
o The head office address
o The preprinted AWB number of 11 digits
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