Know when and how to ship

Know when and how to ship

Military Postal Service Agency

To ensure delivery of holiday gifts 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.

How to send it
- Space-available (SAM) – The cheapest service because packages take longer to reach a destination.

It offers air transport of parcels on a space-available basis to or from military post offices outside the U.S and surface transport within the U.S. There is a weight limit of 70 pounds and a combined length and girth limit of 130 inches.

-Parcel airlift (PAL) – Uses air transport on a space-available basis similar to SAM plus air transport to the destination city or the city nearest to it inside the U.S. There is a weight limit of 30 pounds and a combined length and girth limit of 60 inches.

- First class – Handles ite ms weighing up to 13 ounces. Flat-rate packaging available.

- Priority – Same as First-Class mail but for items weighing over 13 ounces to 70 pounds. Combined length and girth limit of 108 inches. Flat-rate packaging available.

- Express mail military service (EMMS) – Offers preferred and/or expedited service. Not available from all USAFE APOs.


Extra services
- Insurance – Offers coverage against loss or damage up to $5,000, with the price based on the declared value of the item(s).

- Registered – Offers maximum security, insuring items up to $25,000, with the price based on the declared value of the item(s). Tracks movement of mail from beginning to end.

- Certified – Provides evidence of mailing as well as the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery. Requires the recipient to sign upon delivery.

- Delivery confirmation – Shows when an item was delivered or when delivery was attempted using a Track and Confirm tool you can use on your computer.

- Certificate of mailing – Offers evidence of the date your mail was accepted by the post office.

- Return receipt – Provides proof that an item was delivered, through a postcard or email showing the signature of the recipient.

- Restricted delivery – Specifies who can sign for and receive your mail

- Special handling – Offers preferential handling if you’re sending something that needs extra care.


Mailing tips
Print names and addresses of both shipper and recipient clearly on packages with a pen or permanent marker.

Put an extra label with the addresses inside the package in case the original one is defaced. Also include an itemized list of contents.

- Select a box strong enough to protect the contents and appropriate for the amount and size of items inside.

- Leave space for cushioning inside the carton, using bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, or newspaper to protect the contents.

- Use tape designed for shipping, using enough to secure the opening and seams of the box.

- Put newspaper or packing material in hollow items to avoid damage during transport.

- Write “fragile” or “perishable” on packages when shipping such items.

- Use boxes, envelopes and tubes the post office provides for Express Mail and Priority Mail.

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