Asymmetric, motor-protein dependent transport of mRNAs and subsequent localized translation is an important mechanism of gene regulation. Due to the high complexity of such motile particles, our mechanistic understanding of mRNA localization is limited. Over the last two decades, ASH1 mRNA localization in budding yeast has served as comparably simple and accessible model system. Recent advances have helped to draw an increasingly clear picture on the molecular mechanisms governing ASH1 mRNA localization from its co-transcriptional birth to its delivery at the site of destination. These new insights help to better understand the requirement of initial nuclear mRNPs, the molecular basis of specific mRNA-cargo recognition via cis-acting RNA elements, the different stages of RNP biogenesis and reorganization, as well as activation of the motile activity upon cargo binding. We discuss these aspects in context of published findings from other model organisms.