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What Is an Air Waybill (AWB)?

An Air Waybill number often referred to as an AWB tracking number, is a unique code that is displayed on a document that will travel with all goods shipped with an international air courier. The purpose of the AWB number is to provide all the relevant information about the shipment and most importantly, allow it to be tracked.

The AWB will inform all of the various actors involved in the transportation of the parcel (such as the handlers involved in dispatch and receiving the package) of specific information relevant for its handling.

The AWB is also a shorthand code that can reveal the package sender's name and address, the receiver's name, and delivery address.

An AWB can also tell you which airport the parcel was dispatched from, the declared value of the shipment (for customs purposes), the number of individual pieces contained in the order, its total weight, a description of the contents, and any special notes. (such as that the contents are perishable). AWB can be issued by many marketplaces or couriers, including eBay, Etsy, TNT and FedEx.

What will an AWB number look like?

An AWB tracking number will vary depending on the carrier managing the delivery of your parcel. However, they usually follow the same general pattern, which is broken down into three points below:

  • The first two or three digits of an AWB usually a letter which is an abbreviation of the airline or carrier.
  • The next section will usually be a unique set of numbers, known as the serial number, which help identify your parcel
  • This may be followed by a final check digit. There may also be some added number and letters which vary between carriers.

In general, an AWB tracking number will generally have around 11 characters. Thankfully, you don't need to be able to interpret your AWB tracking number in order to be able to track your parcel. Ship24 has an in-built automatic detection system that means when it reads any AWB tracking number, it automatically recognizes the courier and scans the appropriate websites to find the latest tracking information on your package. Whether you receive a tracking number or an AWB tracking code, just copy and paste it into the Ship24 homepage to begin tracking your parcel universally, with thousands of different couriers and e-commerce sellers.

What does an AWB number function as?

In effect, an AWB acts as both a receipt of goods provided by an airline (carrier) and a contract between the shipper and the carrier. An AWB is a legal agreement, which becomes enforceable when the shipper and carrier both sign the document.

An AWB number is recognition of the agreement on the carrier's terms and conditions, including claims procedures and liability limits, applicable charges, and a description of the contents of the package being moved.

Please note: AWB numbers can also be known as air consignment notes.

Where are Air Waybills used?

An airway bill or AWB will be used wherever it is needed to accompany the shipment of goods by an international courier.

To find your AWB number or to track an AWB number, simply enter your AWB number onto the global shipment tracking website Ship24's homepage and begin tracking your package worldwide with one of the most comprehensive shipment tracking tools available. Ship24 doesn't need any personal or parcel information, just enter your AWB tracking number on to the Ship24 website to get every step of your parcel's journey so far, the carrier it is with as well as its current location and status at the click of a button.

What is the difference between and air waybill (AWB) and a bill of landing?

An air waybill (AWB) does not cover the merchandise value inside the contents of the parcel, which is known as a non-negotiable contract. This is different to other bills of lading which have more specific requirements built into their contacts, such as which airline or transportation method should be used and when, and what date the delivery will be made.

Please note, different bills of lading are still legal documents between the sender of shipments and carriers, but they may detail other information and have different requirements involved in the legal contract which the document represents. This may or may not include the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.

Who manages AWB numbers?

The International Air Transport Association is responsible for producing and distributing AWB numbers, with a number of requirements necessary for them to be given.

The requirements needed would be the inclusion of the airline's name, headquarters, logo and specific unique waybill number.

AWBs and bills of lading are part of the shipping process, and they are used to help shippers and recipients track packages as they are in transit. All packages that are sent as registered mail can be tracked with Ship24. Ship24 has helped thousands of individuals and businesses track millions of parcels worldwide whether individually through our main page or with our professional tracking API and premium tracking webhook functionality.

How do I track an Amazon AWB tracking number?

You can track your Amazon delivery by logging in to the Amazon website and going to the Your Orders page. Once on this page, click on the Track Package option and you will be taken to a tracking page, where your unique AWB tracking number will be displayed. Regardless of who your parcel is being handled by, whether it is DHL, UPS, China Post, or otherwise, you can use the tracking number displayed here on the Ship24 website to track your parcel worldwide.

The best solution for tracking is to use your AWB tracking number on the Ship24 website. This means that not only will you be able to instantly get the latest AWB tracking information without having to log in and navigate the Amazon website, but also the Ship24 website will save your recent search history so you don't even need to remember your AWB number. Just enter it once and rest assured you have full tracking capability available at your fingertips whenever you need it, on any Amazon AWB.

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