Freight glossary

A range of air freight terms are used in our industry. So, we’ve put together a glossary to demystify some of the most commonly used words.  

Airport-to-airport freight

The transport of goods from one airport to another airport. This is offered by most airlines and requires the sender, or nominated person, to drop off the shipment and a receiver to pick up the goods at the airport terminal.

Air waybill (AWB)

A document that functions as proof of goods being received for shipment by an air carrier - like a ticket for a passenger.

Consignment note (or Con note) 

A document prepared and signed by the person sending the shipment which is countersigned by the carrier of the shipment as proof of receipt.


The person receiving the shipment.

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The person sending the shipment.


Customs control the flow of goods into and out of the country they’re representing – all international shipments need to be customs-cleared before they’re accepted into the country. Visit the Australian customs and quarantine site for more information.

Dead weight

The actual weight of a shipment - in kilograms.

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Domestic freight 

The sending of goods within Australia.

Door-to-door freight

The transport of goods from one defined point to another point - e.g. from a company warehouse to an end destination. Companies such as Startrack, DHL, Fedex etc. offer door-to-door freight services.

Export licenses

A government document granting the right to export a specific quantity of a commodity to the country requested.

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First mile delivery

The movement of goods from the sender to the courier service who will get the product to its final receiver.

Freight forwarder

A company that ships and receives goods on behalf of a customer.

House air waybill (HAWB)

If a freight forwarder is involved in the shipping of goods, this document acts as proof that the freight forwarder agrees to deliver the goods to their destination.

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International freight

The importing of goods into Australia or the exporting of goods outside Australia.

Last mile delivery

The delivery of goods from a transport carrier to a customer, directly. For example, from an airport to a personal residence.

Master air waybill (MAWB)

A master air waybill (MAWB) is issued by the carrier a freight forwarder chooses to get goods to a final destination.

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Supply chain

The processes and resources used to deliver a product to the final customer.


If products are quarantined, they’ll be held at the point of arrival so they can be checked for any potentially infectious or contagious diseases. Visit the Australian customs and quarantine site for more information.

Volumetric weight

The volumetric weight of a shipment is a calculation that reflects the density of a package. A less dense item generally occupies more volume of space, in comparison to its actual weight. The volumetric or dimensional weight is calculated and compared with the actual weight of the shipment to ascertain which is greater; the higher weight is used to calculate the shipment cost.


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