Military Mail for the Holidays

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.

Mind Postmark Deadlines for Holidays

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 2021:

Military Mail Addressed To/From

Priority Mail Express

First-Class Mail Letters and Cards

Priority Mail

AE ZIPs 090-092

16 - Dec

9 - Dec

9 - Dec

AE ZIP 093

N / A

9 - Dec

9 - Dec

AE ZIPs 094-098

16 - Dec

9 - Dec

9 - Dec

AA ZIP 340

16 - Dec

9 - Dec

9 - Dec

AP ZIPs 962-966

16 - Dec

9 - Dec

9 - Dec

Note

Only the USPS provides Military Mail shipping services.

Know-How to Address Military Mail Shipments

Since Military Mail is destined for a U.S. port, 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

City

Post type

APO

State

Region

AP

Country

Country

USA

Zipcode

Zipcode

96601-0098

Learn more about formatting Military Mail addresses, including a breakdown of all abbreviations.

Understand the Customs Form

Since Military Mail shipments cross international boundaries, they are subject to customs inspections. Customs forms tell customs officials about the contents of your shipments.

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 goes through a special process, which does not require you - the merchant - to include a customs form with the shipment.

Avoid Shipping Restricted Items

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.

Learn more about Military Mail restrictions.

Take Advantage of Postage Discounts

The USPS offers a $2.40 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

Retail

$19.60

Post Office

Commercial

$17.20

Online, including ShippingEasy Basic and above plans

You will always save over Post Office rates by purchasing postage online. ShippingEasy offers Starter Rates and Commercial Rates, depending on the ShippingEasy plan.

Shipping Large Flat Rate Boxes

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.

Pack Items Carefully

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.

Insurance Options

For valuable shipments, you may want to consider insuring your packages against loss or damage. Learn more about insuring mail.

Customize Your Shipment Notification Emails

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. Learn more about creating a custom email template.

Shipping Rules allow you to specify when this "Military Mail" confirmation is sent. Namely, when the address destination type is "Military". Learn more using Shipping Rules to assign your custom email template to your Military Mail orders.

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  • dpo
  • fpo
  • mpo
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  • service
  • aa
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  • ap
  • Thanksgivng
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas