Postal Service delivers holiday cheer to service members worldwide

Staff Report

Ensuring care packages arrive in time for the holiday season is a priority for friends and family members of military personnel serving around the world. To help get packages on their way, the U.S. Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box at a price of $13.45. The price includes a $2 per box discount for military mail being sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.

“In addition to a lower cost per package, customers can be assured that shipping with the Postal Service will provide reliable, trusted and secure delivery to military personnel stationed anywhere in the world,” said acting Rockford Postmaster Steve Webb.

Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices, or can be ordered online at Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship at

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

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092 — Express Mail Military Service (EMM): Dec. 17; First Class Mail Letters/Cards: Dec.10; Priority Mail: Dec.10; Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 3; Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 26; Parcel Post: Nov. 13

APO/FPO AE ZIP 093 — EMM (N/A); First Class: Dec. 3; Priority Mail: Dec. 3; PAL: Nov. 30; SAM: Nov. 26; Parcel Post: 094-098 — EMM: Dec. 17; First Class: Dec. 10; Priority Mail: Dec. 10; PAL: Dec. 3; SAM: Nov. 26; Parcel Post: Nov. 13

APO/FPO AA ZIP 340 — EMM: Dec. 17; First Class: Dec. 10; Priority Mail: Dec. 10; PAL: Dec. 3; SAM: Nov. 26; Parcel Post: Nov. 13

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 962-966 — EMM: Dec.17; First Class: Dec. 10; Priority Mail: Dec. 10; PAL: Dec. 3; SAM: Nov. 26; Parcel Post: Nov. 13

Mailing date cart footnotes:

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

PAL — Provides air transportation of parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight for 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.

SAM — Parcels are paid at Parcel Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

The recommended last day to mail the most economical postage to overseas military destinations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, is Nov. 13. Mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO/DPO addresses generally require customs forms.

Support our troops by sending care packages

With Priority Mail service supplies as the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the Postal Service 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, two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes, Priority Mail tape, Priority Mail address labels, appropriate customs forms.

To order the kit, call (800) 610-8734.

Guidelines for packing, addressing, and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at

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

From the Nov. 14-20, 2012, issue

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