Air Waybill AWB, Bill of Lading B/L, CMR document
Documents reffering to logistics

Transport documents are essential to all international trade transactions. These documents are issued by the shipping line, airline, international trucking company, railroad, freight-forwarder or logistics company.
To the the shipping company and freight forwarder transport documents provide an accounting record of the transaction, instructions on where an how to ship the goods and a statement giving instructions for handling the shipment.
There is a type of transport document for each mode of transport:

  • CMR for road transport
  • Bill of Lading for shipping
  • Air Waybill for airfreight
CMR document

The CMR transport document is an international consignment note used by drivers, operators and forwarders alike that defines the responsibilities and liabilities of the parties within the framework of a contract designed to implement the international carriage of goods on road.
The carrier usually completes the form, but the sender - in other words the exporter - is responsible for the accuracy of the information and must sign the form when the merchandise is collected.

Bill of Lading B/L

A Bill of Lading B/L is a document issued by the agent of a carrier to a shipper, signed by the captain, agent or owner of a vessel, furnishing written evidence regarding receipt of the goods (cargo), the conditions on which transportation is made (contract of carriage), and the engagement to deliver goods at the prescribed port of destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.

Air Waybill AWB

An Air Waybill AWB is a non-negotiable transport document covering transport of cargo from airport to airport.
The Air Waybill must name a consignee (who an be the buyer), and it should not be required to be issued "to order" and/or "to be endorsed" as it is not a title of property of the merchandise.
The Air Waybill is not a negotiabel document. It indicates only the acceptance of goods for carriage. This document is generated by the IATA Transport Agent or the airline itself and is addressed to the exporter, the airline and the importer.
Since it is not negotiable, and it is not proof of ownership of the goods, in order to maintain some control of the goods not paid for by cash in advance, sellers often consign air shipment to their sales agents, or freight forwarders' agents in the buyer's country.