The freight forwarder offering a consolidation service will issue its own Air Waybill to the shipper. This air waybill called House Air Waybill (HAWB). This is also known as a Forwarder’s House Air Waybill. These act as contracts of carriage between the shipper and the freight forwarder, who in this case becomes a deemed carrier. The freight forwarder in turn enters into contracts with one or more airlines, often using more than one mode of transportation. The contract of carriage between the freight forwarder and airline is called a Master Air Waybill (MAWB). A House Air Waybill (HAWB) could act as a multimodal transport document.
Therefore, HAWB or air consignment refers to a receipt issued by freight forwarder for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, but it is not a document of title to the goods. Hence, the HAWB is non-negotiable. There are two reference numbers on HAWB, one is on the top left with eleven digits is the Master Air Waybill and another one is on the top right is the HAWB number. HAWB number is always different from one freight forwarder to another without limitation or standard digit. Customer is to use this number to trace shipment with freight forwarder.