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What Is a Master Air Waybill? | Speed Commerce

What Is a Master Air Waybill??

3PL Glossary > Master Air Waybill (MAWB)

What Is a Master Air Waybill??

The Master Air Waybill (MAWB) is a vital document in air freight transportation that serves as a contract between the shipper, the air carrier, and the consignee. It is a legal document issued by the airline or its authorized agent and outlines the terms and conditions of transportation for the goods being shipped. The MAWB is a non-negotiable document and is used in conjunction with House Air Waybills (HAWBs) when there are multiple shipments consolidated into a single air freight shipment.

How Does a Master Air Waybill Function in International Air Cargo Transportation?

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A master air waybill contains essential information, including details about the shipper and consignee, the nature of the goods being transported, the weight and dimensions of the cargo, and the terms and conditions of the transportation agreement. It also serves as a receipt, confirming that the airline has accepted the goods for transportation. While the MAWB is a contract between the shipper and the airline, the House Air Waybill is issued by the freight forwarder and outlines the specific details of each shipment within the consolidated air freight.

A master air waybill is a key document for air freight shipments, facilitating the smooth movement of goods across international borders. It is essential for customs clearance and provides the necessary information for airlines, ground handling agents, and other entities involved in the logistics chain. The use of standardized air waybill forms, including the MAWB, helps ensure consistency and accuracy in documentation for air cargo shipments, contributing to the efficiency and reliability of global air freight operations.


No, the master air waybill (MAWB) is not a negotiable document. It serves as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the airline and is not transferable to another party.

Yes, a master air waybill (MAWB) can cover multiple shipments consolidated under a single document. It allows for the consolidation of goods from different shippers into a single airfreight shipment.

No, the master air waybill (MAWB) is accompanied by house air waybills (HAWB) for individual shipments within a consolidated shipment. The MAWB covers the entire consolidated shipment, while HAWBs provide details for each specific shipment within the consolidation.

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