Logistics Wordbook


Logistics Glossary

What is House Air Waybill (HAWB)?

The freight forwarder offering a consolidation service will issue its own Air Waybill to the shipper. This air waybill called House Air Waybill (HAWB). This is also known as a Forwarder’s   House Air Waybill. These act as contracts of carriage between the shipper and the freight forwarder, who in this case becomes a deemed carrier. The freight forwarder in turn enters into contracts with one or more airlines, often using more than one mode of transportation. The contract of carriage between the freight forwarder and airline is called a Master Air Waybill (MAWB). A House Air Waybill (HAWB) could act as a multimodal transport document.

Therefore, HAWB or air consignment refers to a receipt issued by freight forwarder for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, but it is not a document of title to the goods. Hence, the HAWB is non-negotiable. There are two reference numbers on HAWB, one is on the top left with eleven digits is the Master Air Waybill and another one is on the top right is the HAWB number. HAWB number is always different from one freight forwarder to another without limitation or standard digit. Customer is to use this number to trace shipment with freight forwarder.

What is included in HAWB?

The HAWB typically consists of the following main parts:

  1. Shipper and Consignee Information: This section includes the name, address, and contact information of the shipper and consignee. It also includes information on the origin and destination airports.
  2. Airline Information: This section includes the name of the airline or carrier, flight number, and departure and arrival times.
  3. Goods Description: This section includes a detailed description of the goods being transported, including the quantity, weight, dimensions, and value. It may also include any special handling instructions, such as temperature requirements or hazardous materials.
  4. Charges: This section includes the total charges associated with the shipment, including the freight charges, handling fees, and any other charges or fees.
  5. Signature and Date: This section includes the signature of the shipper or their authorized representative, as well as the date the HAWB was issued.
  6. Other Information: The HAWB may also include other information, such as the terms and conditions of the shipment, insurance information, and any additional instructions or requirements.

Why HAWB may not be the best option?

While HAWBs are commonly used in the air freight industry, there may be some situations where they may not be the best option. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Limited legal standing: Unlike a Master Air Waybill (MAWB), which is a contract between the carrier and the shipper, the HAWB has limited legal standing. This means that it may not provide the same level of protection and liability coverage for the shipper as a MAWB.
  2. Increased risk of errors: With multiple shipments being consolidated under a single HAWB, there is an increased risk of errors in the documentation, such as incorrect weight or dimensions. This can result in delays and additional costs for the shipper.
  3. Reduced visibility: Since the HAWB is issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator, the shipper may have limited visibility into the status of their shipment. This can make it difficult to track the progress of the shipment and ensure that it is delivered on time.
  4. Higher costs: Consolidating multiple shipments into a single shipment can result in higher costs for the shipper, as they may be required to pay for additional handling and consolidation fees.

In some cases, a HAWB may be the best option for consolidating multiple shipments, particularly for smaller shipments or shipments with a lower value. However, for larger or more complex shipments, a MAWB or other documentation may be more appropriate to ensure proper liability coverage, visibility, and accuracy. Ultimately, the choice of documentation will depend on the specific requirements of the shipment and the preferences of the shipper and carrier.

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