An Airway Bill or AWB is a binding document between a sender, a carrier, and the recipient. Since it’s only issued for air-shipped cargo, the carrier in this case is an airline. During a shipment, eight copies of the AWB are issued, out of which three originals are sent to the three parties, viz. sender, carrier, and receiver.
Every AWB serves not just as a tracking document but also as
- Evidence of receipt of goods by an airline
- Contact information among all parties
- Contract of carriage between shipper and carrier
- Freight bill
- Customs declaration
- Goods description
- Handling and delivery guide
- Tracking of shipment
To save paper, an electronic AWB, or e-Airway Bill was introduced in 2010.