Military Mail is a special mail class for sending letters and parcels to service members stationed overseas. Learn more about Military Mail.
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 overseas, they are subject to similar travel times as other forms of international mail. The USPS recommends the following cut-off dates. These are the deadlines to get your packages in the mail stream to be delivered in time for Christmas 2019:
Letters and Cards
|Priority Mail||Parcel Select
|AE ZIPs 090-092||Dec-18||Dec-11||Dec-11||Nov-6|
|AE ZIP 093||N/A||Dec-9||Dec-9||Nov-6|
|AE ZIPs 094-098||Dec-18||Dec-11||Dec-11||Nov-6|
|AA ZIP 340||Dec-18||Dec-11||Dec-11||Nov-6|
|AP ZIPs 962-966||
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 tell customs officials about the contents of your shipments. Learn more about customs forms.
ShippingEasy makes customs forms easy. Add a few pieces of information into your INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS settings and we will fill out your customs forms. 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. Also, 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.
Military Mail routed through Dulles, VA go through a special process, which does not require you - the merchant - to include a customs form with the shipment.
There are quite a few restrictions around what can be sent to international destinations. On top of those, 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.
The USPS offers a $1.50 postage discount on its Priority Mail APO/FPO 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||$16.80||Online, including ShippingEasy Basic and above plans|
Within ShippingEasy, select the Large Flat Rate Box package option. ShippingEasy does not display the package discount on the READY TO SHIP page, although the discount is applied upon purchasing the label.
Your packages will be handled extensively. They will be flown, processed through customs, and transported to their destination post. Then, they will 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 are 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.
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 provide options for informing your customers about their upcoming delivery.
With customized shipment notification emails for your Military Mail orders, you can add unique notes. This enables you to better manage your customers' delivery expectations as well as include a special "Thank You" note to our servicemen and women.
Shipping Rules allow you to specify when this "Military Mail" confirmation is sent. Namely, when the address destination type is "Military".