July 6, 2023

Shipping to a military address, whether it's an APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office), or DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) address, requires a slightly different approach compared to shipping to a regular domestic or international address.

Military addresses are a vital link for service members stationed overseas, allowing them to receive packages and mail from their loved ones. Understanding the process and following the correct steps is essential to ensure your package reaches its intended recipient without any issues.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of shipping to a military address, covering everything from addressing the package to choosing a shipping carrier and completing customs forms. By following these steps, you can help brighten a service member's day with a thoughtful package, no matter where they are stationed across the globe.

How to Address Military Mail

When addressing military mail, it's essential to use the correct format to ensure your package or letter reaches its intended recipient at the military address. Start by writing the recipient's full name on the first line, including their rank (if applicable) and last name. On the second line, include the unit or command to which the recipient belongs. This information helps to narrow down the delivery location.

Write the appropriate APO, FPO, or DPO designation on the third line, depending on the recipient's location. These designations indicate the specific type of military post office used for mail routing. Write the ZIP code associated with the recipient's military address on the fourth line. The ZIP code is crucial for accurate delivery. On the final line, indicate the country where the military address is located. Including the country is essential, even if the recipient is stationed in a U.S. military base overseas.

Putting it all together, here's an example of a properly formatted military address:

Sergeant Jane Doe

Unit 1 Box 1000

APO, AE 09012

United States of America

You can use the same formatting guidelines when creating a "Ship From" address for shipping from a military address.

Shipping Carriers

For security purposes, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is the only carrier allowed to deliver mail and packages to military bases. Carriers such as FedEx and UPS may deliver to countries where military personnel are stationed, but these packages will not be delivered to APO/FPO/DPO locations.

Shipping to Military Locations

Pack your items securely in an appropriate shipping box or envelope. Use adequate cushioning material to protect the contents during transit. If you're shipping fragile or delicate items, consider adding extra padding or using specialized packaging materials.

USPS usually requires individuals to fill out customs forms when shipping to or from a military address. These forms are necessary because packages destined for military addresses often travel on international flights to reach their destinations.

To ensure a smooth shipping process, fill out the customs form accurately and provide detailed information about the contents of your shipment. Your label will be printed with the customs form included, allowing for proper documentation and compliance with USPS requirements.

Provide the necessary payment information to cover the shipping costs. The carrier will calculate the shipping fees based on the package's destination, weight, and dimensions. Ensure you have the necessary funds or payment method to complete the transaction.

Once you have completed the necessary paperwork and paid for shipping, you can drop off the package at a designated shipping location or schedule a pickup with the shipping carrier. Choose the option that is most convenient for you.

After shipping your package, you should receive a tracking number from the carrier. Keep this number safe and monitor the progress of your shipment online. This will allow you to track the package's journey and get an estimate of its delivery date.

Inform the recipient that you have shipped the package and provide them with the tracking number. This will allow them to anticipate the delivery and make necessary arrangements to receive the package when it arrives.

Remember, your local PostalAnnex can help with all the ins and outs of shipping to a military address. Contact a PostalAnnex shipping expert today.