The U.S. Postal Service has announced deadlines for mailing packages to service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas locations by Christmas.
Holiday mail for the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan should be sent by Dec. 4 for arrival by Christmas. Holiday mail going to other military overseas APO/FPO locations should be sent by Dec. 11. Except for military mail going to Iraq and Afghanistan (APO/FPO AE ZIP 093), Express Mail can also be used to mail packages to other overseas military locations until Dec. 18 for delivery by Christmas.
Mail sent to overseas military addresses is charged at domestic mail prices. Flat-Rate Priority Mail boxes offer the best flat rate price or value for holiday package shipping. Customers can use Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes to ship anywhere in the U.S. or to our troops overseas. The contents for Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes can be any weight for one low rate. If it fits, it ships. For more information, visit http://usps.com.
For more information about sending care packages to the troops, see Resources page.
Military Overseas Mailing and Packaging Tips
- Priority Mail packaging products, including the Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes, offer the best shipping value, and can be obtained FREE at any Post Office, or online at shop.usps.com. Customers receive a $2 discount for using the Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box to mail to any overseas military address, no matter the weight of the box, for just $11.95.
- To save a trip to the Post Office, you can mail your packages from your home or business using Click-N-Ship with FREE package pickup. All you need is a computer with internet access and a printer, a weight scale and credit card. Prepare your packages, go to www.usps.com and access Click-N-Ship.
- If you use a regular box, use one strong enough to protect the contents with no writing on the outside.
- Cushion contents with newspaper, bubble wrap, or styrofoam. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.
Package food items like cookies, fudge, candies, etc. securely in leak-proof containers.
- Use pressure-sensitive or nylon-reinforced packing tape.
- Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape outside the package.
- Print the complete military service member’s name, unit, and APO/FPO delivery address, and your return address on one side only of the package.
- Place a return address label inside the package.
- Stuff fragile items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage
- Remove batteries from toys/appliances. Wrap and place them next to the items inside.
- Purchase insurance and delivery confirmation service for reassurance of package delivery.
- All mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO addresses generally require customs forms. To see updated APO and FPO addresses and mailing restrictions by individual APO/FPO ZIP Codes, Click here, select “Pull-Out Information” and click on “Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail.”
- USPS packaging materials are eco-friendly and have received the highest green, recycling ratings.
- Purchase other packaging products, including tape, envelopes, padded bags, corrugated boxes, and cushioning material from your Post Office.
- Free military mailing kits can be ordered by calling 1-800-610-8734 and asking for the Care Kit.
- Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or go to usps.com for more holiday mailing information.