IATA Multilateral e-AWB

Cargo Spectrum completed the IATA Multilateral e-AWB joining procedures and is listed on the IATA website as party to the multilateral e-AWB agreement.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) announced the approval of the Multilateral electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB) standard, removing the need for bilateral e-AWB agreements between airlines and freight forwarders.

Airlines will have a single agreement with IATA that enables them to accept e-AWBs from all participating freight forwarders, while freight forwarders will have a single agreement that will allow them to tender e-AWB shipments to multiple airlines at numerous airports worldwide.

The multilateral e-AWB agreement is a significant new standard developed to achieve a paperless cargo system. Freight forwarders and airlines can now transmit AWB data electronically to the carrier for AWB completion, instead of the traditional paper air waybill.

The Air Waybill (AWB) is the contract of carriage between Airlines and Shippers and the e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) is an electronic cargo contract that replaces the paper AWB.

The e-AWB includes:

  • provisions for the consent to do e-AWB
  • the rights and obligations of parties
  • the high-level operational aspects
  • the confidentiality and security of data

The e-AWB does not:

  • amend Conditions of Contract as set forth in Resolution 600i or Carriers’ Conditions of Carriage
  • limit the rights of any carrier with respect to the establishment of conditions of carriage, applicable cargo rates and determinations whether individual cargo shipments are Ready for Carriage
  • require any carrier to engage in Electronic Communication with any intermediary or shipper or at all locations where cargo is received for carriage
  • otherwise affect business arrangements between carriers, intermediaries and shippers

Are parties obliged to do e-AWB?

  • Freight forwarders and airlines participating to the IATA Multilateral e-AWB agreement are not obliged to do e-AWB with each other.
  • Joining the multilateral e-AWB agreement provides the Legal framework to do e-AWB without having to engage in multitudes of bilateral Legal discussions.
  • e-AWB becomes “live” at an airport only when airline and freight forwarder mutually decide to do so (i.e. when both parties confirm they are technically and operationally ready to do e-AWB) and upon airline sending an “Activation Notice” to the freight forwarder

Benefits of the Multilateral e-AWB Agreement

  • No more lengthy and costly Legal discussions to start e-AWB
  • Freight Forwarders will have a one-stop shop agreement that will allow them to tender e-AWB shipments to multiple airlines in numerous airports around the globe
  • Airlines will have a single agreement with IATA, enabling them to accept e-AWB from all participating Freight Forwarders
  • Parties still remain in control of where and when e-AWB should start depending on the technical and operational readiness

Contact Cargo Spectrum for more information about the IATA Multilateral e-AWB procedures. Need more information or have any questions about Air Cargo, Ocean Shipping or Ground Transport? Our Cargo Spectrum representatives are here to help. Call us on 1.888.273.5575 | Request a Quote | Email us at info@cargospectrum.com. Learn more about Cargo Spectrum.