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Departed From First Mile Sorting Center – Meaning

You’ve ordered an item from a popular Ecommerce platform and have received a “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you receive this alert and what happens next?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Departed From First Mile Sorting Center

The “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” tracking update is used in situations where the ordered product has been stored in a distribution facility or fulfillment center before it is purchased. Essentially, the item is at the very beginning of the shipment journey and has just left the warehouse used by the seller.

Departed From First Mile Sorting Center – Guide

International Warehouse Awaiting Packaging
Inside a Shein Fulfilment Warehouse

The “First Mile Sorting Center” is the distribution facility or fulfillment center either owned or used by the eCommerce platform to store the manufactured goods of the seller.

Let’s take Amazon as an example, (although Amazon tracking doesn’t use this particular update).

Amazon sellers will use one of the Amazon fulfillment center warehouses to store their goods before they are sold to a customer.

Very often, when someone orders an item from Amazon it is plucked from the shelves of the fulfillment center, packaged and labeled, and then passed onto the carrier.

Another name for where all this takes place is. The “first-mile sorting center”.

When the packaged shipment is handed over to the carrier, it is clearly departing the fulfillment center…. It is at this point, the “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” update is triggered.

Amazon is not the only e-commerce platform to utilize fulfillment or distribution warehouses.

Most large eCommerce platforms leverage this system for faster more efficient delivery times, including those based in the Far East.

What Happens After a “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” Update?

Departed From First Mile Sorting Center

The fact the package is at the beginning of the shipment journey means that all relevant logistical steps are now followed to get that package to the door of the recipient.

If the first-mile sorting center is actually local to the destination address, delivery can be conducted directly by the same carrier that picked up the package from the fulfillment center.

Amazon is able to do this throughout many of the regions it operates in, hence, same-day delivery is so widely available.

The next steps for an Alibaba shipment are definitely very different. Transport to the location of export, customs clearance, overseas transit, and distribution to the destination country, all need to be completed.

Delivery, in this case, is often weeks after the “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” is triggered.

Tracking Stuck on “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center”

frustrated man on laptop

If you have ordered from a Chinese eCommerce platform, it may seem that your tracking is stuck on this update.

Remember, the package will take time to reach you, and if an economy carrier was used, you will need to exercise patience.

Not only will the delivery process be slow, but tracking updates can be scarce too.

For example, the likes of Yanwen and Sunyou will stop tracking an item once it leaves Chinese shores.

Anyway, two proactive steps that I recommend if your tracking is stuck after a “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” update are:

Check With a Universal Tracking App

tracking details search

Free online apps such as 17track and ParcelsApp will scan hundreds of carrier databases to see if your item is being tracked elsewhere. 

Simply place your tracking number into the app or website to see if further information on the shipment process is available.

Be Aware of Buyer Gurantee Periods

buyer guarantee period

As mentioned, shipments from e-commerce platforms such as AliExpress and Shein take time. 

You should be patient even in the absence of tracking updates. However, you should still make yourself aware of your rights just in case the item never arrives.

AliExpress has a 60-day buyer’s gurantee period, and you can open a dispute here.

Shein provides different delivery schedules depending on the recipient’s location.

Find out what the Shien shipping times are based on your address, and be sure to contact the vendor when this time period is close to being reached.

Final Words

outside of warehouse

Essentially, the “Departed From First Mile Sorting Center” update means that the shipment journey has just begun.

Your order has left the original facility or fulfillment center where it has been stored by the seller, and it is now in the hands of the carrier for the first time.

Depending on the distance between this facility and the recipient, delivery could be anything between several hours away and more than a month.

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