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Shipping Tips & Solutions

How to Ship to an APO/FPO Address

Shipping to a loved one in the US Armed Forces? Here's the scoop on everything you need to know for seamless shipping.
How to Ship to an APO/FPO Address
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

September 28, 2021

There are nearly 800 US military bases in more than 70 countries across the globe. The US military operates on bases across the nation to faraway islands of the South Pacific and installations in all continents but Antarctica. So when our troops are permanently stationed all over the world constantly, sending a letter or package is one way to show your love and support.

USPS is the only postal service that can deliver mail and packages to APO/FPO military addresses. APO stands for Army Post Office and is associated with Army, Marines or Air Force installations. On the other hand, FPO stands for Fleet Post Office and delivers mail to Navy installations and ships. You can also enjoy shipping to the following military branches:

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard

In this blog, we’ll give you a comprehensive guide on shipping letters and parcels of every size to US military bases.

Table of Contents

How to Address APO and FPO Mail

Unlike standard shipments, APO/FPO mail follows a different procedure when shipping to a military address. Mail without a correctly formatted address automatically returns to the sender so get it right the first time.

Follow these four steps to address FPO or APO mail correctly:

  1. Write the full name of the service member and include their rank (i.e., CPT Bob Smith)
  2. Include their unit and assigned box number (i.e., Box 0402)
  3. Enter the appropriate military postal code in the area where you would typically write the city (i.e., APO/FPO)
  4. Use the following abbreviation instead of the state:
  • AE: Used for Armed Forces in Europe, the Middle East, and Canada
  • AP: Used for Armed Forces in the Pacific
  • AA: Used for Armed Forces in America (not including Canada)

5. Provide the appropriate five-digit zip code, and you’re all set to go!

Example of APO mail address

APO stands for Army Post Office and is associated with Army, Marine, and Air Force Installations. Below is a properly formatted APO mail address. That way, you can ensure your loved one receives their letter or package.

CPT Robert Smith

Unit 2055 Box 0402

APO AP 96278

Example of FPO mail address

FPO stands for Fleet Post Office and refers to mail sent to Navy installations and ships. Here’s a correctly formatted FPO address so you can ensure your loved one in the Armed Forces receives their care package or letter.

SGT John Doe

Unit 1112 Box 5555

FPO AP 96667-3931

Couriers that Ship to APO and FPO Locations

USPS is the only postal service that can deliver mail and packages to APO/FPO locations due to security restrictions. So don’t waste your time on FedEx or UPS; USPS is the only postal service available.

APO/FPO Shipping Restrictions

We all want to avoid any mishap when sending APO or FPO mail. Unfortunately, your recipient cannot receive a package containing a restricted item. Plus, you also run the risk of USPS suspending your USPS account if you send a restricted item.

Below is a list of restricted items that cannot be shipped via APO/FPO mail:

  • Perishable goods
  • Oversized products over 70 pounds
  • Any obscene material, including pornographic items
  • Any political material
  • Pork (or any pork by-products)
  • Family Radio Service (FRS) radios
  • FM transmitters
  • Cordless phones
  • Mobile phones
  • GPS and software
  • Hand sanitizer

While you can’t ship specific items to an APO/FPO location, restricted items such as perishable goods or specific electronic devices are available for sale on base for military personnel.

How to Ship to a Military Location

Always package your item safely and securely so your parcel can withstand any movement during transit. Adding additional packing material to the inside box can give you peace of mind about the safety of your package.

Consider the following tips for shipping packages to military addresses to ensure a hassle-free shipping experience:

  • Always double-check that you have the correct APO/FPO address
  • Get your free Priority Mail APO/FPO flat-rate boxes from USPS.com
  • Ensure your packages are less than 70 pounds and smaller than 130 inches

Connecting with a shipping platform can simplify your shipping and fulfillment processes. For example, Easyship offers users automated label generation so you can minimize human error when it comes to addressing packages to military addresses.

Delivery Lead Time for Military Mail

Your shipment can take between 3 to 45 business days to arrive at any domestic or international military address. Plus, your delivery lead time may vary for several reasons, including:

  • Military aircraft schedules
  • Weather delays
  • Delivery destination
  • Sorting process delays
  • Courier service tier

Delivery Times to Global APO/FPO Addresses

Shipping to an APO/FPO address? Consider shipping USPS Priority Mail Express if you want faster delivery. Parcel Select remains an affordable option if you’re not in a time crunch. To ship, visit your local post office or schedule an in-person pickup for sending military mail overseas.

Here are the estimated delivery times for shipping mail or packages to your loved ones in the Armed Forces.

The US to Europe/ Atlantic Region

The US to the Middle East

US to East Asia/APAC

The US to Central America

Cost of Shipping to APO and FPO Addresses

Depending on the weight, size, and dimensions of your package, prices will vary. Fortunately, you only pay domestic rates for all APO/FPO mail 一 including international addresses.

Say you want to ship a three-pound package from New York to Laughlin Air Force base in Texas. Using the USPS rate calculator, we can calculate how much it will cost to ship the three-pound package. Below are the estimated prices.

  • Priority Mail Express 2-Day: $58.15
  • Priority Mail 3-Day: $17.20
  • Priority Mail 3-Day Large Flat Rate Box: $21.90
  • Priority Mail 3-Day Medium Flat Rate Box: $15.50
  • Priority Mail 3-Day Small Flat Rate Box: $8.45
  • USPS Retail Ground: $15.55

Now, let’s say you also want to ship a 3-pound package from NYC to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Below are the rates for the 3-pound package.

  • Priority Mail Express Military: $27.55
  • Priority Mail Military: $12.80
  • Priority Mail Military Large Flat Rate Box: $20.40
  • Priority Mail Military Medium Flat Rate Box: $15.50
  • Priority Mail Military Small Flat Rate Box: $8.45

Finally, let’s say you want to ship a 3-pound package to Osan Air Base in South Korea from NYC. Below are the rates for the 3-pound package.

  • Priority Mail Express Military: $60.55
  • Priority Mail Military: $12.80
  • Priority Mail Military Large Flat Rate Box: $20.40
  • Priority Mail Military Medium Flat Rate Box: $15.50
  • Priority Mail Military Small Flat Rate Box: $8.45

Easyship can save you up to 70% off discounted USPS shipping rates, including APO/FPO mail. Plus, our free shipping rates calculator can help you calculate the shipping cost for your FPO or APO mail.

APO Mail with Easyship

Shipping to military addresses doesn’t have to be hard. Though you’ll have to follow restrictions, utilizing a shipping platform like Easyship can make sending mail to military addresses hassle-free. So continue sending letters and shipping packages to your loved ones overseas with a high-volume discount with a reliable shipping platform like Easyship.

Make sure you keep in mind key information before shipping packages overseas. For instance, you can only use USPS for shipping mail to military addresses due to security reasons. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you correctly address your letter or package, so nothing becomes lost during transit.

Easyship does all the hard work by partnering with USPS to provide you the best available rates. You’ll save up to 70% off discounted USPS shipping rates with Easyship, especially for international couriers. Plus, you’ll always get the best rates with a shipping and tracking experience to give you peace of mind.

Start a free account with Easyship and get started with shipping to military addresses.


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