Military Mail is a special mail class for sending letters and parcels to service members stationed overseas. Learn more.
Special considerations should be made when handling Military Mail shipments - especially around the holidays.
Click through for tips to help with your Military Mail shipments this Holiday Season:
- Postmark deadlines
- Military addresses
- Customs forms
- Restricted items
- Postage discounts
- Proper packing
- Shipment notifications
Since shipments are traveling oversees, they are subject to similar travel times as other forms of international mail. The USPS recommends the following cut-off dates - deadlines to get your packages in the mail stream to be delivered in time for Christmas 2015:
|Priority Mail Express||Priority Mail||First-Class Mail||Parcel Select|
|AE ZIPs 090-092||Dec-17||Dec-10||Dec-10||Nov-7|
|AE ZIP 093||N/A||Dec-3||Dec-3||Nov-7|
|AE ZIPs 094-098||Dec-17||Dec-10||Dec-10||Nov-7|
|AA ZIP 340||Dec-17||Dec-10||Dec-10||Nov-7|
|AP ZIPs 962-966||Dec-17||Dec-10||Dec-10||Nov-7|
NOTE: only the USPS provides Military Mail shipping services.
Since Military Mail is destined for a U.S. post, it follows the general rules of domestic addresses. However, without streets or "States", there are some significant differences.
An example of how to address military mail is as follows:
MSgt John Doe
PSC 123 Box 987
APO AP 96601-0098
|Address field||Military address Information||Example|
|Recipient name||Service member's name||MSgt John Doe|
|Address line 1||Unit name + Box number||PSC 123 Box 987|
|Zip code||Zip code||96601-0098|
Learn more about formatting Military Mail addresses, including a break down of all abbreviations.
Since Military Mail shipments cross international boundaries, they are subject to customs inspections. Customs forms are used to tell customs officials about the contents of your shipments. Learn more about customs forms.
ShippingEasy makes customs forms easy. Just add a few pieces of information into your INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS settings and we'll automatically fill out your customs forms with complete details every time. Learn more about setting up your INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS settings.
The types of customs forms you need will vary based on the service and package selected; however, many shipments require several copies of customs forms. As a general rule, these should be affixed to the outside of the parcel in a clear envelope. Learn more about printing USPS customs forms.
Although there are quite a few restrictions around what can be sent to international destinations, many Military Mail shipments are subject to even more stringent restrictions. Restrictions also vary based on the destination region and country.
Universally restricted items include, but are not limited to, lottery tickets, alcohol, flammable materials, and fireworks. Learn more about Military Mail restrictions.
The USPS offers a $2 postage discount on it's Priority Mail - Large Flat Rate box. These top loading packages measure 12" X 12" X 5.5" and can contain contents weighing up to 70 lbs. Better yet, you can order these for free from USPS.
|Rate type||Price (with discount)||Where to buy postage|
|Commercial Base||$14.35||Online, including ShippingEasy Starter plan|
|Commercial Plus||$13.85||Online, including ShippingEasy Basic and above plans|
You'll always save over Post Office rates by purchasing postage online. ShippingEasy offers Commercial Base (CBP) and Commercial Plus (CPP) rates, depending on the USPS service selected and ShippingEasy plan.
Your shipments are going to be flown, processed through customs, then transported further until they reach their destination post. Then, they'll be handled again before finally reaching the recipient. With all these transactions, proper packaging is very important.
Keep the following tips in mind to help ensure packages arrive safely and undamaged:
- Box: choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you're reusing a box, cover up or black out any old labels and markings.
- Cushioning: place cushioning around your items. Close and gently shake the box to see whether there is enough padding.
- Sealing: tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2" wide tape. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape.
TIP: for valuable shipments, you may want to consider insuring your packages against loss or damage. Learn more about insuring international mail.
ShippingEasy's confirmation emails and Shipping Rules open up a range of options for informing your customers about their upcoming delivery.
By creating customized shipment notification emails for your Military Mail orders, you can add unique notes to better manage your customers' delivery expectations as well as include a special "Thank You" note to our service men and women.
Shipping Rules will allow you to specify when this "Military Mail" confirmation is sent - namely when the address destination type is "Military".
FAQs: Military Mail
Do US military and territory shipments require a customs form?
What do I need to know about USPS International shipments?
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