Ensuring care packages arrive in time for the holiday season is a priority for friends and family members of military personnel serving around the world. Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices, or can be ordered online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship.
To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, cards and packages to military APO/FPO/DPO address overseas should be sent no later than the mailing dates listed below.
Express Mail Military Service (EMM) Dec. 17
First-Class Mail Letters/Cards: Dec.10
Priority Mail: Dec. 10
Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 3
Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 26
Parcel Post: Nov. 13
EMM – Available at select military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.
PAL – Provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post Items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight for 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
SAM – Parcels are paid at Parcel Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space available basis.
The recommended last day to mail the most economical postage to overseas military destinations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, is Nov. 13. Mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO/DPO addresses generally require customs forms.
With Priority Mail service supplies as the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the Postal Service created a free “Military Care Kit” based on the items most frequently requested by military families.
The kit contains:
Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes, two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes, Priority Mail tape, Priority Mail address labels, and appropriate 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 www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-guidelines.htm
To order Flat Rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo go to store.usps.com.