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What is a sort facility? Everything explained

Last Updated on December 16, 2021 by Kennedy

Buying products online and tracking your item you will definitely come across sort facility or sorting center as the two terms are the same.

Once you are buying from any of these online shopping stores like aliexpress, Amazon, eBay, etc you will come across the term upon tracking your item online.

If you are a newbie you will try to understand what the tracking information means and what it is trying to notify you about. From my six years experience buying products online and having them shipped to my destination, I will explain what the term sorting center mean in shipping.

What is a sort facility?

A sorting facility is a large warehouse where items are being labelled, scanned, and sorted out based on the items destinations or shipping address. Afterwards these items will be dispatched to their various destination country or cities.

sort facility

Each courier services has their sorting facility and this includes the likes of DHL sort facility, FedEx sort facility, EMS sort facility, Aramex sort facility, USPS sort facility, UPS sort facility, etc.

If for example you used DHL for your shipping method while buying a mobile phone from aliexpress, the mobile phone will first be shipped out to DHL sorting facility within the country, state or province.

The item you bought along with other items will undergo some process before they are finally dispatched to their various destinations. The process that occurs in the sort facility include the followings;

1. Labeling of the item 

Despite the fact that the seller or dealer must mark his goods before they are shipped to the sorting system, the goods are nevertheless marked with all the necessary information in the sorting system.

Therefore, one package may display two labels. One is labeled by the seller and the other is performed by the courier used to deliver the goods.

2. Sorting out the items

This is  most of the sorting process and is the reason why items are put into the sorting center or facility. Each courier service has its own sorting facility or center, and all products or items are carried to the sort facility.

For example, DHL has a sorting facility in Vancouver, Canada. All goods purchased in British Columbia will be shipped to Vancouver’s DHL sorting facility where they will be sorted directly according to their destinations.

The destination is determined by the shipping address of each item in the sort facility.

All items going to Vernon are put in one bag, all items going to Chiliwak are put in another bag, and all items going to Kelowna are put in another bag. Once all the items has  been placed as intended, it is ready to be dispatched from the sorting facility to the various destinations of those items.

3. Dispatched from sorting facility

This is the final stage and after all the items have been sorted out and arranged according to their destinations or shipping address, they will be dispatched from the sorting facility.

Here, dispatched means to move out items from the sorting facility to their next destination which will be the linehaul or longhaul though it is usually linehaul transportation.

The linehaul transportation will now carry these items to their destinations or destination country.

This is why after you must have seen arrived at sort facility on your tracking information, what follows next will be departed from sorting facility, received by line haul transportation and finally departed from country of origin.

After you have departed from country of origin, you will then know that the item has left the country where you ordered it from or where it is coming from, and immediately you see arrived at destination country, you should be happy cause it has arrived at your destination.

All these are what is involved when it comes to arrived at sort facility based on my observations using my cellphone and computer to buy products online from aliexpress, Amazon, eBay, etc.

Three major cases in sort facility

There are three major cases when it comes to sort facility and the are;

Whether you see sorting facility, sort facility, sort center or sorting center on your tracking information, kindly know that they are all the same.

1. Arrived at sort facility

When a merchant ships an item straight to the courier service, the next destination will definitely be the sort facility and that is where the item will be checked, labelled, scanned and packaged.

Immediately your item gets scanned, it will notify you that it has arrived at the sort facility.

what is a sort facility

Immediately an item arrives at the sort facility, it will begin the stages of delivery which first will be labeling the items, sorting out and arranging these items based on their destinations.

2. At the destination sort facility

As an item begins the process of delivery right inside the sort facility, immediately it is get scanned what the recipient will see on the tracking information will be item or parcel at the destination sort facility.

Most times one may not see this tracking information as it all depends on the courier services and how they notify their customer on their shippment.

3. Dispatched from sort facility

After all the items has been sorted out accordingly and based on their various destinations, they will be ready for dispatch.

Dispatch here means to move the items away from the sorting facility and straight to the cargo or linehaul transportation where they will moved to their various destinations based on shipping address of these items.

When it reached this point, you will see dispatched from sort facility on your tracking information. If you are buying from aliexpress, what follows next will be accepted by line haul transportation and finally departed from country of origin.

These are the three major cases in involves in sort facility and if you have been using your mobile phone or computer to buy items online, you will definitely come across these three terms on your tracking information.

How long does it take for a package to go through a sorting facility?

It usually takes a maximum of three working days for an item to go through a sorting facility which includes sorting of the items based on their various destinations and shipping addresses.

During black Friday, it may take uo fiyr to five working days depending on the number of items that are inside the sorting facility. The longest I’ve seen was four working days and that was during 2019 black Friday sales.

Can you pick up packages from sorting facility?

You cannot pickup your package from sorting facility but rather will have to wait until it gets delivered directly to your house or to any of the nearest local post office.

People are not entirely allowed into the sorting center except for those working inside the sort facility.

Once you have seen arrived at sort facility on your tracking information, you will have to exercise patience until it get to your final destination and gets delivered to you or you pickup the item from the post office.

If you happen to see arrived at sorting hub on your tracking information, please kindly know that it is the same with arrived at sort facility. They all mean the same just that in United States, people tends to say hub than sorting center or facility.