The standard contract of carriage in the airfreight industry is the Air Waybill - AWB. The content and the format of the AWB are defined by the IATA regulations.
The AWB constitutes the contract of carriage between the carrier (Airlines) and the commercial shipper as defined in the Warsaw Convention 1929.
By signing an AWB, the carrier confirm acceptance of the goods and commits to deliver them to the consignee at the designated airport, or in case of combined transport, at the agreed place of delivery.
The AWB is neither a document of title, nor a negotiable document. It serves simply for evidence of the contract of carriage.
Once the conditions relating to the consignee inserted on the AWB have been complied with, it is the carrier's duty to release the goods to the consignee designated on the AWB.
Airlines - Abbreviations and Codes:
Every airline is awarded a code by the I.A.T.A (International Air Transport Association), which consists of a 3 digit numbers combination (PRE-FIX) as well as a 2-letters abbreviation. These codes are to be found on all documents, which are used in air transport i.e. Airway bill or ticket numbers beginning with these codes.
Click on IATA Logo to use the Airline and Airport code search engine.
Transport possibilities and Loading Regulations
Airfreight consignments also have to correspond to the customs regulations of the country of origin and of the country of destination. That is why air cargo may only be sent from (or to) so-called "Customs Airports", which provide means for customs clearance. they will gladly inform you whether your supplier’s or senders nearest airport belongs to this category.
Depending on airplane and destination there are limits concerning dimensions and gross weight of the individual package. With larger packages it may be a matter of a few centimetres if the goods will find space on the aircraft. This depends mainly on the height of the package, but its width and length are also determining factors for loading onto certain types of aircraft.
e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) benefits:
With the e-AWB, there is no longer a need to print, handle or archive paper AWBs. e-AWB brings accuracy, confidentiality and efficiency. It helps reducing operational costs and speeding-up the delivery of air freight shipments - for example, there will no longer be delays due to the paper AWB being misplaced or lost.
The new IATA Multilateral e-AWB Agreement provides a single standard agreement that airlines and freight forwarders can sign once with IATA to enter into e-AWB agreements with all parties, without having to sign numerous bilateral agreements.
- 22% e-AWB by end of 2014
- 45% e-AWB by end of 2015
- 80% e-AWB by end of 2016 - 2017?