Thousands of men and women in the nation’s military and diplomatic corps and in the military are serving abroad during the holidays. The mail is a great way to stay connected with them by sending cards, letters, presents and care packages for the festive season.
The Postal Service offers a reduced price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide — a $1.50 discount from the regular price.
The Postal Service is expected to process more than 16.2 million pounds of mail for these destinations this holiday season.
To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Christmas, 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.
OVERSEAS MILITARY DEADLINES
Dec. 11 – Cards, Letters, and Priority Mail Packages
Dec. 18 – Priority Mail Express Military Service
(* most destinations)
FREE MILITARY BOXES AND SUPPLIES
The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains address labels, tape, boxes, and 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.
Postage, labels, and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship at http://www.usps.com/ship.
While you are at usps.com, you can also print your shipping labels, pay for postage, and call for your letter carrier to pick up your Priority or Priority Express items at your home or business for free (where available.)
MAIL PREPARATION TIPS:
- Use good strong boxes and good strong packing tape. No duct tape or masking tape. No string or wire. No shoeboxes.
- Don’t use boxes from a liquor store. Boxes that indicate that there is alcohol inside cannot be mailed.
- Don’t ship anything with a lithium battery.
- Always include a return address on the parcel, and include destination/return address on a card inside the parcel (in case the address on the parcel is rendered unreadable).
- Never use Holiday wrapping paper around your parcel- it is very thin and isn’t suitable in the high speed sorting machines.
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: