Difference between AWB and HAWB - Airway bill and House Airway bill

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Difference between AWB and HAWB - Air Waybill and House Airway bill


You can also read here - Difference between HAWB and MAWB


This article is a part of series of replies on questions asked by beginners of international trade relates to basics of export and import.

How Air Waybill works? How does HAWB differs from AWB. AWB Vs HAWB

In general terms, AWB and HAWB functions as airway bill. However there is slight difference between AWB and HAWB.
What is the Airway bill and how does airway bill work?


I am copying below from my other article explaining about Airway bill in general terms.

Airway bill is issued by air carrier of goods on receipt of goods after completion of export customs formalities of the country. Shipper obtains airway bill once after handing over cargo to them. Since the cargo reaches by air and transit time is too less compared to sea shipment, a set of airway bill is sent along with the cargo for immediate reference on transit and for import customs clearance at destination port by importer. Once after completion of customs formalities at load port customs location, cargo transfer manifest (CTM) issued by IATA agDifference between AWB and HAWB - Airway bill and House Airway bill ent along with airway bill and other required documents for transport submits to air carriers. Original airway bills are issued in quintuplicate which is meant for carrier, importer, shipper and additional copies. Once after arrival of cargo at destination, the importer or his cargo agent approaches the destination office of air carrier and collect airway bill and other required documents sent by shipper along with cargo for necessary documentation for import customs clearance procedures and other references. Importer may also collect copies of documents by courier or mail from shipper before arrival of goods. The shipper also can arrange to send airway bill and other documents through his bank to meet LC requirements or he desires. The major difference between bill of lading and Airway bill is that, Airway bill is not a document of title. However, airway bill can be prepared in such a way to treat as document of title and negotiable document.

What is HAWB and how House airway bill works?

When a shipper books cargo with a freight forwarder by air, he issues a document of reciept of goods from shipper which is called House airway Bill. In turn, the freight forwarder books same cargo with main airline carrier and he obtains MAWB under the said shipment.

I hope, you are clear about Airway bill and House airway bill. Let me conclude as below:

Airway bill is a document, which is a proof of receipt of goods from shipper issued by air carrier. If a freight forwarder or consolidator involved in a shipment, such forwarder issues a document of receipt of goods to the final shipper which is called House airway bill (HAWB). In turn, said freight forwarder delivers goods to main air carrier and receives a Master airway bill (MAWB).

You can also read here - Difference between HAWB and MAWB   Difference between MBL and HBL. How does MBL work and How does HBL?


All house airway bills are airway bills, but all airway bills need not be house airway bills.

In this article, I have explained about the difference between AWB and HAWB.  Would you like to add more information about Airway bill and House Airway Bill?  Share your experience below about the difference between House Airway Bill and Airway bill.


Comment below your thoughts about House Airway Bill Vs. Airway Bill.


The above information is a part of Online export import training guide 

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I hope, I could differentiate and explain about Airway bill and House airway bill. If you have different thoughts, please discuss below:


Jeremy O'Guin: I would like to get further clarification from you on who is to be listed on a HAWB. We are a project freight forwarder located in the US. We have a bid we are doing for a Oil and Gas company located in India who is asking for us to list ourselves as the shipper on shipments to them in India. The shipments would be of a consolidation nature in some cases with several USPPI’s. How can we or can we do this? It would seem that we are acting as the Exporter and would make us the USPPI in this case.

Zuzanna: Hi, thank you for sharing knowledge! Brgds, Zuzanna Rosinska

Rajesh Kola: Good article ...Helped me to clear basic

Rahul Varma R: What if the freight forwarder has globel presence say DHL for example. DHL has their own offices in almost all countries. Do we need this HAWB or MAWB in this case?

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