As the holidays are fast approaching, so are the mailing deadlines to send presents and merriment to friends and loved ones serving away from home. Be prepared and get your letters and packages in the mail in time to ensure their delight this festive season.
To send packages to military and diplomatic addresses abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $20.95 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 discount per box for mail sent to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) destinations worldwide. Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are available at no cost at Post Office locations and can also be ordered via usps.com.
Postage, labels and customs forms can also be printed online anytime using the Click-N-Ship feature. All mailing products can be found at the Postal Store.
The Postal Service is expecting to process more than 10.1 million pounds of mail for APO/FPO/DPO destinations this holiday season. To ensure timely delivery 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.
Priority Mail Express Military Service* Dec. 16
First-Class Mail Service Dec. 9
Priority Mail Service Dec. 9
Retail Ground Service Nov. 5
*Priority Mail Express Military Service is available to select military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO ZIP.
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 Flat Rate Boxes
- Four Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
- Priority Mail tape
- Priority Mail address labels
- Six custom forms envelopes
To order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo or a Military Care Kit, call 800-610-8734 or visit the online Postal Store.
Addressing the package
- Write the service member’s full name and rank.
- 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
- Always include a return address.
- Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address.
- Inside the box, on an index card, include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit.
Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can also be found at https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm?#regulations
New pricing became effective on Oct. 2
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved a temporary price adjustment for key package products for the 2022 peak holiday season which are applicable to APO/FPO/DPO shipments. This temporary rate adjustment is like ones in past years that helped cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful peak season. The temporary rates will go into effect at 12 a.m. Central time on Oct. 2 and remain in place until 12 a.m. Central time on Jan. 22, 2023.