What Is a First Mile Sorting Center?

A first mile sorting center is the first place that a package is transported from the manufacturer, where it is categorized before being shipped out to its next destination, usually a distribution center or an online retailer warehouse before heading to the consumer. 

How Do First Mile Sorting Centers Work?

First mile sorting centers work by creating a localized site or hub used to organize and sort items prior to being shipped to various end destinations. 

How Long Does First Mile Shipping Take?

Depending on the product and the availability in the supply chain, first-mile shipping can take anywhere from one to several days to complete. Factors such as distance, availability, and additional steps in the supply chain process can impact the time it takes.  

Optimizing Your Supply Chain With First Mile Delivery

First mile delivery is a critical first step in the supply chain process. It is important to optimize your supply chain with first mile delivery, by utilizing third-party logistics, developing solid warehouse receiving and supply chain processes, and implementing technologies to track shipments and data.

Partner With a 3PL

Partnering with a tech-enabled 3PL (Third-Party Logistics provider) can help in optimizing your supply chain by allowing you to see the multiple moving parts of your operation in “real-time” to better understand efficiencies, bottlenecks, and issues that may arise. This will allow you to make informed decisions, immediately, to help optimize your supply chain. 


First-mile delivery is a highly manual process, so shippers don’t have options for different times of the day. This process can be improved by digitizing the first-mile delivery flow. Partnering with companies that have the technology for optimizing first mile logistics to manage the shipping experience can help with resources and save time, as well. 


In most cases, once a provider takes a truckload from its warehouse, shippers have zero visibility, which can be problematic. Tracking and visibility is one example of how the last mile delivery experience starts with the first mile of delivery planning and execution. Technology is available to digitally track shipments in “real-time”.

Supply Chain Process

By mapping out first mile delivery and going through each step of your existing supply chain closely to identify where inefficiencies are, you can optimize the supply chain process. Each step of the supply chain is built from the previous step, so starting out as efficiently as possible is extremely beneficial for your entire process. 

Warehouse Receiving Process

Mapping out your warehouse receiving process for accurate inventory tracking and outlining how you or your warehouse team receives inventory shipments sent by your supplier are critical steps in the warehouse receiving process. Completing pre-receiving tasks prepares your warehouse for receiving inventory. Organizing and storing new inventory as it arrives also helps to keep your supply chain running optimally. 

Collecting the Right Data

Collecting the right data such as time to ship, time to stock, and transit damage rates are extremely important because it helps to organize your shipments in a way to maximize efficiencies and help to mitigate or lessen the probability of potential issues. 

Selecting the Proper Packaging

Proper packaging while shipping is also very important, because if you don’t have the right packaging it won’t matter how quickly it takes to get to its destination. Having your product packaged properly will avoid the extra step of repackaging for compliance reasons and/or re-labeling for inventory purposes. 

Labeling Systems

Consistently labeling your shipments is the best way to track your entire inventory. By creating an organized labeling system, you can limit the number of SKUs needed. You can also both simplify and expedite the scanning processes of your inventory. 

Importance of First Mile Delivery

It is important to have convenient and flexible delivery arms and locations in order to maximize the efficiency of your deliveries. 

  •  Lays the groundwork for remaining logistics
  •  Flexibility of carriers is important
  •  Utilize same routes and map out supply chain
  •  Visibility into shipment location and timelines using technology

First-Mile vs Last-Mile Delivery

First-mile delivery is the shipment of finished goods to a distribution facility where it is then shipped to its final destination. Last-mile delivery refers to the shipping carrier transport of the delivery to the end customer. First-mile delivery typically involves pallets and bulk shipments, whereas last-mile delivery involves smaller and more customized packaging. 

First-Mile Delivery Is A Critical First Step in Your Supply Chain Process

Developing a strong supply chain process by beginning with first-mile delivery and utilizing the technical resources and partnerships available in the market, are important steps to achieving the most efficient supply chain process, which ultimately lowers costs and creates happy customers. Continue reading Print Bind Ship to learn more details about supply chain optimization and many more subjects in the industries of printing, binding, and shipping. 


What Does First Mile Delivery Mean?

First mile delivery refers to the transportation of goods across the first leg or “mile” of the supply chain. This can have different me

What Does First Mile Pickup Mean?

First mile pickup means the very first step in the supply chain process. This also depends on the industry. For example, first mile pickup for a residential moving company would be the pickup from the customer’s home and taking it to a storage unit or a new home.

What Does It Mean When My Package Is at a Sorting Center?

It means that your package is at a holding site used to sort and categorize shipments so they are then sent to their correct locations. Your package could be at a sorting center for up to se