Shipping to Military Bases – Military Mail FAQ

April 2nd, 2018 Comments off

Care packages and letters are some of the best ways to send your loved ones a slice of home when they are deployed abroad. At Stamps.com we often receive questions from customers looking to send packages to military destination so we compiled a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions about Military Mail:

How do I format a military address?

Like a domestic address, a military address lets postal clerks know where to send your mail piece, so the address must follow a specific format. This special address must include:

  1. The full name of the addressee. Mail sent without a full name will not be delivered
  2. The unit or Post Office box number
  3. A three letter code associated with the type of location. APO is used for Army and Air Force installations. FPO is used for ships and Navy installations. DPO is associated with U.S. embassies overseas.
  4. The “state” of the addressee. Rather than an actual state or province in a foreign country, the “state” for a military address should be:
  • AA for Armed Forces Americas
  • AE for Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Middle East and Armed Forces Africa
  • AP for Armed Forces Pacific
  1. The 5-digit zip code for the military unit. All military zip codes will start with a 0 or 9.

Example:

CPT John Doe

Unit 45013 Box 2666

USAG J

APO AP 96338

 

What is my best option for shipping to a military base?

Due to security restrictions, the USPS is the only carrier that can deliver mail and packages to APO/FPO/DPO locations. While carriers such as FedEx and UPS offer delivery to countries where military personnel may be stationed, packages from these private carriers cannot be delivered directly to a military base.

Should I include a country in the military address?

No! One of the most common mistakes when sending military mail is including a country in the address. Typically, including a country in the address will result in a delayed or rejected mailing.

Is Military Mail considered international mail?

No. In 1959 the Department of Defense and the Post Office Department agreed that the USPS would be required to provide continual mail service to military personnel and their families worldwide. Because of this agreement military addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) are not considered international addresses by the USPS, even though they may reside in foreign countries.

How much does it cost to send a letter to APO/FPO/DPO addresses?

When sending a letter to military addresses, you are only required to provide domestic postage. The current cost to send a domestic First Class Mail letter is $0.50 at the Post Office or $0.47 for Stamps.com customers.

How is Military Mail processed?

Letters and packages addressed to military personnel are first sent to Miami, New York City or San Francisco before being shipped to their international destinations. Once the letter or package arrives in its destination country, it is handed over to a Military Postal Service representative who transports it to the Military Post Office, from where it is distributed to the service member’s unit for delivery to the recipient.

Do I need to fill out a customs form when shipping to a U.S. military base abroad?

Since the recipient country may have restrictions on what can be imported, mailpieces addressed to a military destination must include a properly completed PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A.

What is the estimated delivery time for Military Mail?

The transit time for sending mail and packages to military addresses varies by destination and mail class. See the table below for delivery time estimates:

Can I ship electronics to military destinations?

Many electronics are prohibited from being shipped to military destinations. A good rule of thumb is anything that sends a radio, satellite or phone signal is prohibited for being shipped to military bases. Prohibited items include mobile phones, cordless phones, GPS hardware and software, and FM transmitters.

 

How should I package shipments to Military destinations?

Be sure to package shipments securely enough to withstand up to six weeks of transit. Consider the destination of the package and extreme temperatures or conditions the packages may need to endure. If your package contains fragile contents add adequate cushion.   If any portion of the box looks like it is sagging or can be easily depressed, add packing material on the inside.

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International Shipping Services: Summary of 2018 USPS Rate Increase

February 9th, 2018 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service provides multiple shipping services for international delivery and ships to more than 180 countries. Depending on the service you choose, delivery times vary from 3 days to over 10 days for economical options. As with its domestic offerings, USPS also offers international flat rate options and even provides free shipping supplies for those mail classes.

Here’s what you need to know about USPS international mail classes now that the 2018 rate increases have gone into effect (as of January 21, 2018):

First-Class Package International Service

First-Class Package International Service is the USPS’ most affordable international service for the delivery of small packages. The maximum weight for this mail class is four pounds, and delivery time varies by destination.

  • First-Class Package International Service rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase First-Class Package International Service online, you’ll save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

Priority Mail International

Priority Mail International is a cost-effective service that delivers mailpieces and packages weighing up to 70 pounds. This mail class offers international delivery in 6-10 days.

  • Priority Mail International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

The charts below show 2018 rates and provide the increase per package when comparing new rates with the 2017 rates:

Priority Mail Express International

Priority Mail Express International offers date-specific delivery and a money-back guarantee when shipping to select countries, with delivery in 3-5 days. The maximum allowable package weight for Priority Mail Express International is 70 pounds.

  • Priority Mail Express International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail Express International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the Priority Mail Express International increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

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First Class Package Service: Summary of 2018 Rate Increase

January 29th, 2018 Comments off

First Class Package Service is a fast, affordable delivery service for packages weighing up to 15.99 ounces. This mail class offers delivery in one to three days within the U.S. Here’s what you need to know about how First Class Package Service now that the 2018 rate increases have gone into effect (as of January 21, 2018):

•First Class Package Service rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent in 2018, with rates now starting at $2.66 (previously at $2.61) for online postage customers.
•When you purchase First Class Package Service postage online, you’ll save up to 26 percent (previously 18 percent) versus retail rates.

Find 2018 rates below:

First Class Package Service – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates
Mailpiece Weight 2018 2017 Increase
1 ounce $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
2 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
3 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
4 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
5 ounces $2.79 $2.77 $0.02
6 ounces $2.92 $2.77 $0.15
7 ounces $3.05 $2.77 $0.28
8 ounces $3.18 $2.77 $0.41
9 ounces $3.34 $3.32 $0.02
10 ounces $3.50 $3.46 $0.04
11 ounces $3.66 $3.60 $0.06
12 ounces $3.82 $3.74 $0.08
13 ounces $4.10 $3.88 $0.22
14 ounces $4.38 $4.02 $0.36
15 ounces $4.66 $4.16 $0.50
15.999 ounces $4.94 $4.30 $0.64
Categories: Postage Rate Increase Tags:

Stamps.com automatically updated with new 2018 USPS rates

January 21st, 2018 Comments off

The 2018 USPS rate increase go into effect on Sunday, January 21, 2018. No action is required of customers, as Stamps.com mailing and shipping solutions are designed to reflect real-time USPS pricing and will transition to the new rates in real time. This way our customers can print postage without any service disruptions.

Below you’ll find a summary of the 2018 postage rate increase for Commercial Base (online postage) prices by mail class:

Get more information about the 2018 postage rate increase here, or download our free 2018 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide.

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Priority Mail: Summary of 2018 Shipping Rate Increase

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

Priority Mail is a quick yet economical shipping service that provides delivery anywhere in the U.S. within two to three days. The maximum allowable package weight for this mail class is 70 pounds. Priority Mail also includes USPS Tracking and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments.

Stamps.com customers enjoy discounts of up to 39 percent over the Post Office rate on all Priority Mail shipments, depending on weight and distance. These discounts are automatically calculated by the Stamps.com software.

Price Changes to Priority Mail in 2018

Priority Mail rates will see an average increase of 6.2 percent starting Jan. 21, 2018. A one-pound package traveling from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8) will cost $7.76 in 2018, up from $7.25 in 2017.

Priority Mail – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Mailpiece Weight

2018

2017

Increase

1 lb. – Zone 8

$7.76

$7.25

$0.51

2 lbs. – Zone 8

$10.80

$10.28

$0.52

3 lbs. – Zone 8

$15.34

$14.90

$0.44

4 lbs. – Zone 8

$18.15

$17.61

$0.54

5 lbs. – Zone 8

$21.03

$20.41

$0.62

6 lbs. – Zone 8

$24.07

$23.37

$0.70

7 lbs. – Zone 8

$27.04

$26.25

$0.79

8 lbs. – Zone 8

$30.36

$29.47

$0.89

9 lbs. – Zone 8

$33.75

$32.77

$0.98

10 lbs. – Zone 8

$36.71

$35.64

$1.07

Rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Flat Rate Envelopes will also increase in 2018. A Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope will cost $7.10 in 2018, up from $6.50 in 2017.

 

Priority Mail Flat Rate – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Mailpiece

2018 2017

Increase

Flat Rate Envelope

$6.55 $5.95 $0.60

Legal Flat Rate Envelope

$6.85

$6.25

$0.60

Padded Flat Rate Envelope

$7.10

$6.50

$0.60

Small Flat Rate Box

$7.05

$6.45

$0.60

Medium Flat Rate Box

$12.85

$12.40

$0.45

Large Flat Rate Box

$17.65

$17.05

$0.60

APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box $16.15 $15.55

$0.60

 

While prices for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes will increase for most Zones in 2018, it’s worth noting that rates are dropping by $0.30 for Box B in Zone 5, and rates will remain the same for Box A in Zone 5.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide a great cost savings over regular Priority Mail when your parcel is over two pounds. For example, a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A that weights five pounds for delivery to Zone 8 will cost $10.80 in 2018 compared to $21.03 for regular Priority Mail.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Box A                
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2017 $6.52 $6.60 $6.83 $8.15 $9.19 $9.99 $10.28 $15.14
2018 $7.10 $7.25 $7.40 $8.15 $9.47 $10.29 $10.80 $15.33
Change $0.58 $0.65 $0.57 $0.00 $0.28 $0.30 $0.52 $0.19
Box B
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2017 $7.17 $8.01 $9.19 $10.95 $15.68 $17.93 $20.41 $28.72
2018 $7.41 $8.42 $9.37 $10.65 $16.15 $18.47 $21.03 $29.15
Change $0.24 $0.41 $0.18 ($0.30) $0.47 $0.54 $0.62 $0.43

Get more information on the 2018 USPS postage rate increase.

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