USPS announces shipping dates for holiday military mail

Last Updated on October 10, 2021 by U.S. Postal Service

WASHINGTON, DC — Making sure those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents and care packages in time for the holidays is a priority of the U.S. Postal Service. Plan ahead and mail your holiday cheer early to friends and loved ones serving abroad.

To send packages to military and diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $21.15 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 discount per box for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.

Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are available at no cost at Post Office locations and can also be ordered via usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can also be printed online anytime using the Click-N-Ship feature. All mailing products can be found at store.usps.com/store/home.

The Postal Service is expecting to process more than 12.6 million pounds of mail for APO/FPO/DPO destinations this holiday season.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that cards and packages be sent to military APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.

Military Mail Addressed  To and FromPriority Mail Express Military® Service (PMEMS)1First-Class™ Mail
Letters
and
Cards
Priority Mail®Parcel Airlift     Mail    (PAL)Space Available
Mail      (SAM)
Retail Ground
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092Dec 16Dec 09Dec 09Services no longer availableNov 06
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP   093N/ADec 09Dec 09Nov 06
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-099Dec 16Dec 09Dec 09Nov 06
APO/FPO/DPO AA ZIP   340Dec 16Dec 09Dec 09Nov 06
APO/FPO/DPO AP ZIPs 962-966Dec 16Dec 09Dec 09Nov 06

1. PMEMS is available to select military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.

Use the Military Care Kit to Send Presents and Care Packages

The Postal Service has 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
  • Four Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
  • Priority Mail tape
  • Priority Mail address labels
  • Six Custom Forms Envelopes

To order the kit, call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/military-care-kit-P_MILITARYKIT. To order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo, go to usps.com/freeboxes.

Addressing the Package

  • Write the service member’s full name
  • Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:

Army/Air Post Office (APO)

PFC JANE DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021

Fleet Post Office (FPO)

SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691

Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)

MELANIE ADAMS
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048

  • Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address
  • Do include a return address
  • Inside the box, include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit

Additional information about shipping items to service members can be found here.

New Pricing
As of Aug. 29, the cost of a First-Class Forever stamp increased three cents, from 55 cents to 58 cents. There are also temporary price increases in place through Dec. 26, 12:01 a.m., Central time for both retail and business customers for some of our more popular shipping products, which also includes military shipping — Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground, and Parcel Return Service. International products are unaffected. These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges similar to levels experienced in 2020.

Temporary pricing increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground is as follows:

  • PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes – $0.75
  • Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs.  – $0.25
  • Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs. –  $0.75
  • Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs. – $1.50
  • Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs. – $3.00
  • Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs. – $2.50
  • Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs. – $5.00

All other retail shipping services:

  • First-Class Package Service – Retail – $0.30 

A zone pricing calculator can be found online. A complete list of business products and prices is also available online.

The temporary adjustment is part of “Delivering for America,” the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

SOURCE: News release from U.S. Postal Service