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Definition: House Airway Bill (HAWB)
HAWB is the House Air Waybill. The freight forwarder that offers the consolidation service issues an airway bill to the shipper. This airway bill issued by the freight forwarder is the House Air Waybill. It is also known as the Forwarder’s House Air Waybill. The HAWB acts as a contract between the shipper and the freight forwarder who is the deemed carrier of the goods.
The freight forwarder is the one who enters into contracts with one or more airlines and often uses more than one mode of transportation. The contract between the freight forwarder and the airlines in called the MAWB or Master Air Waybill. A HAWB could also serve the purpose of a multimodal transport document.
The HAWB or air consignment is a receipt issued by the freight forwarder for goods and it also acts as an evidence of contract of carriage of goods. But it is not a document of title to the goods. Therefore, HAWB is a non-negotiable instrument.
There are two reference numbers on the HAWB. The one on the top left with eleven digits is the MAWB and the other one on the top right is the HAWB number. The HAWB number is always different for different freight forwarders. It has no limitation or standard digit. The customers can use the HAWB number to trace their shipments with the freight forwarder.