Halloween hasn’t even arrived, but many military spouses are already beginning to shop and prep for sending holiday care packages overseas. As you may know sending packages overseas during the holidays comes with timelines and requires the right packaging. The United States Postal Service recently released their yearly military mailing holiday deadlines, along with what you should know about free military shipping supplies.
Shipping Discounts for Military and Diplomatic Posts Overseas
To send packages to friends and loved ones serving in the military and diplomatic posts abroad, the U.S. Postal Service offers a discounted price of $18.45 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate® Box. The price includes a $1.50 per box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.
Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices and can also be ordered via usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can also be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship® feature. All mailing products can be found at store.usps.com/store/home.
To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that cards and packages be sent to military APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.
|Military Mail Addressed
To and From
|Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS)1||First-Class Mail
|Priority Mail||Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL)2||Space Available
|APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092||Dec. 18||Dec. 11||Dec. 11||Dec. 4||Nov. 27||Nov. 6|
|APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP 093||N/A||Dec. 9||Dec. 9||Dec. 4||Nov. 27||Nov. 6|
|APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-099||Dec. 18||Dec. 11||Dec. 11||Dec. 4||Nov. 27||Nov. 6|
|APO/FPO/DPO AA ZIP 340||Dec. 18||Dec. 11||Dec. 11||Dec. 4||Nov. 27||Nov. 6|
|APO/FPO/DPO AP ZIPs 962-966||Dec. 18||Dec. 11||Dec. 11||Dec. 4||Nov. 27||Nov. 6|
Use the Military Care Kit to Send Presents and Care Packages
- The Postal Service has created a free “Military Care Kit” based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains:
- Two Priority Mail® APO/FPO/DPO Flat Rate Boxes
- Four Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
- Priority Mail tape
- Priority Mail address labels
- Appropriate customs forms
To order the kit, call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at:
store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/military-care-kit-P_MILITARYKIT. To order Flat-Rate Boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo, go to usps.com/freeboxes.
Addressing the Package
- Write the service member’s full name
- Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:
Army/Air Post Office (APO)
PFC JANE DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021
Fleet Post Office (FPO)
SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691
Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048
- Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address
- Include a return address
- Inside the box, include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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