USPS deadlines to send troops holiday packages nears

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego's relationship with the U.S. armed forces is a close one, especially so during the holiday season.

It's important for many of our local families to continue celebrating the holidays with loved ones overseas and many times that can mean sending a simple care package.

To help families sending packages abroad, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is offering discounted rates with $17.35 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box. The price includes a $1.50 per box discount for mail sent to military post office destinations worldwide.

Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available for free at USPS offices and online.

RELATED: Deadlines for holiday shipping in December

To make sure packages arrive for loved ones abroad by Dec. 25, USPS recommends sending them by the following dates:

Military mail address to and from:

  • APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092: 12/16 (Priority mail express military service), 12/11 (First-class mail letters and cards), 12/11 (Priority mail), 12/4 (Parcel airlift mail)
  • APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP   093: (Priority mail express military service: N/A), 12/4 (First-class mail letters and cards, Priority mail, and Parcel airlift mail)
  • APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-098: 12/16 (Priority mail express military service), 12/11 (First-class mail letters and cards, and Priority mail), 12/4 (Parcel airlift mail)
  • APO/FPO/DPO AA ZIP   340: 12/16 (Priority mail express military service), 12/11 (First-class mail letters and cards, and Priority mail), 12/4 (Parcel airlift mail)
  • APO/FPO/DPO AP ZIPs 962-966: 12/16 (Priority mail express military service), 12/11 (First-class mail letters and cards, and Priority mail), 12/4 (Parcel airlift mail)

Domestic mailing deadlines are:

  • Standard post: 12/14
  • First-class mail: 12/19
  • Priority mail: 12/20
  • Priority mail express: 12/22

APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office)

RELATED: How you can help those in need this holiday season

Some helpful tips to remember...

To address packages, USPS asks that senders use the following format (Service member's full name, unit number and APO/FPO/DPO address with 9-digit zip code, if assigned.):

[Example]

Army/Air Post Office (APO)
PFC JANE DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021

USPS advises not to include the country name where the service member is stationed in the address, include a return address, and include the service member's name and address as well as the sender's name and address on an index card inside the package (in case the shipping label gets damaged.)

RELATED: Top picks from 2017 Amazon gift guide

For those who plan to send military members stationed overseas some seasonal cheer, USPS has also created a military care kit available for families. It includes:

  • Two Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO Flat Rate Boxes
  • Two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
  • Priority Mail tape
  • Priority Mail address labels
  • Appropriate customs forms

To order the kit, senders can call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at online here.

Print this article Back to Top