FAQ

Who is FirstMile?

FirstMile is an eCommerce Shipping carrier that utilizes local, regional, national and International carrier networks to help delivery packages all over the world in a timely manner at a competitive price.  FirstMile simplifies shipping by taking multiple carrier options and condensing them into one carrier network.  One invoice, One customer support, One claims department and one pickup to handle everything in the "FirstMile" of eCommerce Shipping.

How do I calculate dimensional weight?

The Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of a package, using the longest point on each side to get the cubic size.

Then, divide the cubic size of the package in inches by the dimensional divisor to calculate the dimensional weight.

Key data point you need to know to calculate dimensional weight:

  1. Length = the longest side running from left to right
  2. Width = the perpendicular side to the length usually running front to back
  3. Height = the side that runs perpendicular to the length and width usually running from bottom to top
  4. Dimensional Divisor = The number provided by the carrier to divide into the cubic size to determine the Dimensional Weight

What does it mean when my tracking says "En Route"?

If you are tracking a package with FirstMile, DHL, USPS and other carriers and the latest tracking event says "En Route to ........." that means there was an electronic notification given to the carrier distribution center that the label has been printed and the package is on it's way.  If the package does not arrive and there is no tracking event following "En route" that would signals to us that the label was printed but the package has not yet arrived at the distribution center.

Some of the reasons a package does not arrive at a distribution center are as follows:

  • The software that prints the label sent out the notification of the label being printed but the printer failed while printing therefore the label never printed out
  • The label was printed but we discarded and was never applied to a package, therefore was never able to make it on a transport to the distribution center
  • The label was printed and the package was picked up but during the transportation from fulfillment center to distribution center the package was misrouted and was sent to the wrong distribution center
  • The label was printed, the package was delivered to the correct distribution center however the carrier failed to scan it's arrival and it is on to it's next destination and will receive a scan at it's next stop

If my item gets lost or stolen is it covered?

When a package is on it's way it is very difficult to change the direction from its intended destination.  If by some reason a package goes missing, is damaged or found itself in the outer abyss it is always a good idea to make sure you are covered.

Insurance or replacement coverage can be an extra cost so you’ll have to factor that into your profit margins, but insuring your shipments can provide extra peace of mind for both you and your customers.

Firstmile offers coverage on all mail class packages and that is typically included in the overall shipping cost.  Up to $50 coverage for every package under 1 lb and up to $100 for every package heavier then 1 lb.  If for some reason your packages need additional coverage we would encourage you to reach out to our team to help add that additional protection.

What does an ecommerce shipper need to know about Peak Season?

Not all "Peak Seasons" are made the same, for a large majority of ecommerce stores the 4th Quarter is the heaviest shipping period of the year.  Most shipping carriers will see an increase of 20% to 80% in volume from mid October to the end of December.  Other industries may have a very slow 4th Quarter but see significant volume increases during the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Quarters.  Whenever your "Peak Season" is keep these things in mind to avoid major disappointment from yours and your customers perspective.

  1. Plan ahead for:
    1. Software lag or failure
    2. Carrier pickup capacity (make sure to communicate your volume increases to ensure the right vehicle shows up to pickup your packages)
    3. Carrier daily volume restrictions
    4. Weather disrupting package movement
    5. Understand cut off dates for packages to arrive by desired delivery date depending on the service level
  2. Customer expectations:
    1. Set proper expectation on your website for customers
    2. Give the customer upgrade shipping options to speed up transit
    3. Communicate with customers on when the order will leave your facility and give them an estimated delivery date
  3. Improve your fulfillment processes:
    1. Group like items storage locations for easy pick and pack
    2. Prepackage bundles typically sold together to cut out pick and pack time and cost (kitting)
    3. Use "right size" boxes to cut down on shipping costs and shipping waste (stop shipping air)
    4. Set a goal to have everything leave your building within 24 hours of order

What are the shipping cut-off dates?

USPS

Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground Service
Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail Service
Dec. 19 — Priority Mail Service
Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express Service

UPS

Dec. 15 — UPS Ground
Dec. 21 — UPS 3 Day Select
Dec. 22 — UPS 2nd Day Air
Dec. 23 — UPS Next Day Air

UPS is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. UPS Express Critical service is still available.

FedEx

Dec. 9 — FedEx SmartPost (certain exceptions may apply)
Dec. 15 — FexEx Ground and Home Delivery
Dec. 21 — FedEx Express Saver
Dec. 22 — FedEx 2 Day
Dec. 23 — FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight
Dec. 25 — FedEx SameDay, SameDay City Priority and SameDay City Direct

DHL Ecommerce

Dec. 11 — Ground
Dec. 15 — Expedited
Dec. 17 — Expedited Max

USPS International

Please click here for individual country and area dates

DHL Express has not published shipping cut-off times