Electronic Air Waybill (eAWB)

The electronic air waybill is a computerized version of a paper air waybill (eAWB). The eAWB replaces the paper document and simplifies the air cargo process for shippers, forwarders, customs agencies, and air cargo firms.

Are there different types of air waybills?

There are main types of eAWBs: the Master Air Waybill, the House Air Waybill, and the Electronic Consignment Security Declaration.

MAWB: The Master Air Waybill is an international document that helps protect the goods and states the terms and conditions of carriage.

HAWB: The House Air Waybill is an internal document issued by a forwarder, stating their terms and conditions.

eCSD: The Electronic Consignment Security Declaration is a regulatory document that protects cargo.

 Key Takeaways

    • The electronic air waybill is a digital receipt for goods and a contract for transportation.
    • Benefits of using eAWBs include improved accuracy, better productivity, and lower costs.
    • By using eAWBs in your business, you are also making use of EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange. 

What are the benefits of using eAWBs?

There are many benefits to utilizing an eAWBs between forwarders, airlines, and air freight agents.

Improves Accuracy: The eAWB data is more accurate and current than paper AWB because it can be directly updated by the forwarder or airfreight agent. Up until the cargo arrives at the station, agents can make last-minute modifications to the data in real time.

Reduces Costs: Due to the fact that the eAWB is a paperless solution, users spend less on document processing, document storage, document transportation to and from the forwarder to the airline, and document transportation from the warehouse to the flight. Plus, it’s better for the environment!

Increases Productivity: The use of eAWBs reduces the need for human data entry duplication, manual data comparison between paper AWB and system data, and manual document filing and storage. There are no waiting times because all parties can instantly access precise information and move cargo as planned.

Increases Transmission and Processing Speed: The overall cycle time can be cut by as much as 24 hours using eAWB. It expedites the customs clearance procedure and enables forwarders and carriers to share and receive pertinent information before the arrival of the goods.

Air Cargo on a Jet

How are electronic air waybills related to eFreight?

Carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers, customs brokers, and customs officials are all involved in the industry-wide eFreight program. Through the use of an electronic messaging system, high-quality data, and a regulatory framework, eFreight seeks to create an end-to-end paperless air cargo transportation process. eFreight specializes in electronically sending customs documents, transport documents, commercial documents, and special cargo documents. An eAWB is a computerized version of a paper air waybill, which would go under the transport document category.


What does EDI have to do with my eAWB?

Exchanging paper documents by postal mail, courier, fax, and email can all replaced by EDI. Even though email is an electronic method, users must still manage the documents that are shared via email. People involved in the process can add errors and slow down document processing. Conversely, EDI files can pass directly through to the right program on the receiver’s computer, where processing can start right away.

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is the process of exchanging electronic data between two businesses. In order for an eAWB to be processed, the EDI system must be used to transmit the data between the shipper and the airline. The EDI system ensures that all of the data is accurate and up-to-date, and it also allows for automated processing of the eAWB. Without EDI, the eAWB would not be possible.

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