Military mail holiday deadlines fast approaching
Post office deadlines to send packages to deployed U.S. soldiers in time for Christmas are quickly approaching.
Sending packages to a military base using an APO/FPO ZIP code is the equivalent of shipping within the United States, explained Debra Mitchell, a spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service.
“When you mail something to an APO or FPO, it’s the same as mailing it in the United States as far as shipping rates go,” said Mitchell.
Most cut-off dates for priority packages to arrive on base before Christmas are Dec. 11, she said, but one ZIP code deadlines on Dec. 4. Therefore, even though a majority of deadlines are in two weeks, families should contact the United States Postal Service to obtain an exact deadline.
Mitchell added that families sending a package to an APO/FPO get a $2 discounted postage rate as long as they use a special priority large flat rate box. There are a four different sizes of boxes for flat rate shipping.
Other discounts are available for customers who print their priority mail postage clips at Click-N-Ship, preprinted labels to send packages or letters.
“Whether you’re shipping to the U.S. or international military destinations, our large flat rate box is the best overall value in the marketplace,” said Gary Reblin, vice president of the USPS’ Expedited Shipping in a prepared statement.
The postal service also provides free Military Care Kits, designed by military families, that can be ordered and sent overseas.
Mitchell recommends that families shipping a package to a U.S. serviceperson use an indelible marker that won’t smear, use nylon enforced tape and include a copy of the shipping address inside the box.
“It’s always a good idea to put a slip in the box with the address information as well, so if something happens on the outside we can know where it is going by looking on the inside,” said Mitchell.
Overseas mail to service men and women also requires a special customs form, which can be obtained from the postal service and should be filled out before arriving to mail your package.
Between the months of November and December, the postal service is expecting to ship more than 30 million pounds of mail to bases to Iraq, Afghanistan and across the world.
For more information, visit www.usps.gov.