MAWB vs. HAWB: Clarifying Air Freight Shipping Documents

Master Airway Bill (MAWB)vs. House Airway Bill (HAWB) : Decoding Air Freight Documentation

When it comes to air shipping, two key documents come into play: the Master Air Way Bill (MAWB) and the House Air Way Bill (HAWB). These are critical for tracking and handling your cargo.

Understand Air Waybills: The Basics

Air waybills can be issued in two main formats: as a direct AWB or as a combined set, including a MAWB and one or more HAWBs.

What is Master Air Way Bill (MAWB)

The MAWB is your go-to document for air cargo shipment. Issued by the airline or its agent, it’s proof of receipt and a tool for tracking your cargo en route. The MAWB lists the real shipper and receiver, and upon arrival, the airline designates an agent to handle the consignment. The MAWB’s number is essential for tracking your shipment’s status directly on the airline’s website.

what is Master AirWay Bill

Understanding the House Air Way Bill (HAWB)

The HAWB, issued by a freight forwarder, is also key in air transport. It’s especially useful when the receiver isn’t directly involved with import customs clearance. The HAWB helps control the release of goods to the final receiver, ensuring the process stays on track.

Deciphering the ‘M’ and ‘H’ in AWB

The ‘M’ in MAWB stands for ‘Master,’ indicating it’s the main bill issued by the airline. Conversely, the ‘H’ in HAWB represents ‘House,’ a sub bill created by freight forwarders.

The Role of MAWB in Air Freight Cargo Shipping

The MAWB is the primary document without sub bills, used to inform the airline about the cargo and its destination. It’s not a title document, so the airline releases goods based on arrival notices, not the MAWB itself. Changes to the MAWB post-departure are restricted and may incur fees.

Master Airway Bill

The Role and Importance of HAWB

The HAWB specifies the shipper as the original freight forwarder and the consignee as the destination forwarder. Once the cargo arrives, the destination agent, using the MAWB, collects the goods from the airline. The HAWB then dictates when the final receiver can collect their shipment.

When to Use a HAWB:

  • If customs clearance is beyond your capacity, a HAWB makes things easier.
  • When working with freight forwarders rather than directly with airlines, a HAWB is essential for managing the pick-up and delivery of your goods.

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