An air waybill (AWB) or air consignment note is a receipt issued by an international airline for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, it is a document of title to the goods.
Hence, the air waybill is non-negotiable which means one the cargo is landed at the arrival destination, it is immediately delivered to the consignee or to the customs broker for custom clearance and final delivery.
The same to sea bill of lading, the airway bill has five roles for all freight chain:
1.Contract of carriage
2.A cargo receipt to prove that the carrier has received the shipment
3.Delivery guide, in case of a special handling
4.Certificate of Insurance
If the goods are being shipped under a letter of credit for payment, or through the shipper bank to receive payments, the AWB may be consigned to a bank and the consignee must pay the bank who in return will provide a bank release to the airline to release the goods. This process typically takes several days during which the goods will sit at the airline warehouse and possibly incur storage charges.
What’s AWB number included?
The AWB number has 11 digits and 3 parts.
The first 3 digits are the Airline Prefix
The next 7 digits is the Serial Number of the AWB
The last digit is the check digit.