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.

Click through for tips to help with your Military Mail shipments this Holiday Season:

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 2020:

Military Mail
Addressed To/From
Priority Mail
First-Class Mail
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


Dec-11 Dec-11 Nov-6

Only the USPS provides Military Mail shipping services.

Know-How to Address Military Mail Shipments

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
City Post type APO
State Region AP
Country Country USA
Zip code Zip code 96601-0098

Learn more about formatting Military Mail addresses, including a break down 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. 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.

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.

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.

Learn more about USPS package dimensions and postage discounts available through ShippingEasy.

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. 

Learn more about common packing mistakes.

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