DOD Request: APO, FPO, or DPO shipments should include the service member's full name,
"Unit", "CMR", "PSC" and number along with the box number:
SUSAN L. SMITHUNIT 1111 BOX 222
PFC WILLIAM M. MAVERICKPSC 3 BOX 1234
SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITHUNIT 1234 BOX 1111
Note - Do not include the country or the base camp's city because a package could be routed the the host country's mail system.
CHAPLAIN JOE S. SMITHUNIT 1111 BOX 222
CHAPLAIN SMITH20TH BATTALION
Service members also serve inside the U.S., and some can even be deployed to other states. Bases inside the U.S. can accept packages from any major shipping carrier. Labels look a little different depending on the carrier you select for shipping.
There are restrictions on the size of packages that can be sent, the items that can be sent, and individual bases can have their own specific restrictions. Base restrictions can even change from deployment to deployment.
See individual carrier websites for more details about restricted items when shipping inside the U.S..
Reminder: Bases can have additional box size restrictions so it's critical to check this with the Military Restricted Items Lookup above.
USPS - Overseas & Stateside
Max 70 Pounds
108 Inches Length & Girth
Other Carriers - Non APO, FPO, DPO
Max 150 Pounds
165 Inches Length & Girth
When sending to military bases in different countries, you must disclose customs information.
All customs are is a list of all the items in your package, the quantity of each item, and the individual price of each item. This information is needed because different countries have different restrictions on what can be sent there, this lets them know what's inside your package.
If you go to the Post Office, you'll need to fill out a form with all the addressing information and customs details for each box.
Then the postal clerk will type all the information into the computer while you wait. This can be very frustrating for you, the postal clerk, and other customers waiting in line.
If you create your labels online with Shipthrifty.com, you'll type the items in your package in the blanks with the quantity and the unit price.
The customs information will print right on your label. Drop off or pick up is super quick, and you can even skip waiting in line since your package is paid for.
Packages typically take about 2 weeks to arrive. However, keep in mind that transit times vary depending on the address, mode of transportation, and base operational conditions.
We've seen packages going to the Middle East take as little as 7 days, and others that have gone to Africa take 6 weeks.
Package volume during holidays also affects delivery times.
Tip - Send your packages early if you want something to arrive by a particular date to have the best chances of them getting there in time.
Forward and Return Statuses
|DRINKS & SAUCES||FOOD & SNACKS||HYGIENE & PERSONAL ITEMS||GAMES & MISC.|
|Coffee||Healthy snacks||Shampoo||Books (non religious)|
|Teas||Dried fruits||Conditioner||Magazines (current)|
|Apple cider packets||Trail mix||Body wash||Card games|
|Sugar||Beef jerky||Shaving cream (non-aerosol)||Puzzles|
|Stevia packets||Granola bars||Razors||Note Pads|
|Nondairy creamer||Protein bars||Lotion||Blank note cards|
|International coffee creamers (single serve)||Sunflower Seeds||Deodorant (stick is best)||Adult coloring books|
|MIO||Pumpkin Seeds||Baby wipes||Cards to send out (birthday, holiday, etc.)|
|Lemonade||Chips(no canisters like Pringles)||Body powder/Gold Bond||Pens|
|Kool Aid||Crackers||Toothpaste||Pencils (regular & colored)|
|Crystal Light||Cookies||Toothbrushes||Music CD's|
|BBQ sauce||Ramen noodles||Dental floss||Movies|
|Taco sauces||Instant oatmeal||Mouthwash (no alcohol)||Balls (football, baseball, etc.)|
|Hot sauces||Microwave mac & cheese||Tissues||Frisbees or small toys|
|Mayonnaise||Microwave popcorn||Lip balm with sunscreen||Batteries (limited quantities)|
|Ketchup||Peanut butter||Sunscreen (SPF 50)||Notes and reminders of home|
|Slim jim's (Beef)||Jelly||Q-Tips||T shirts (100% Cotton)|
|Life Savers, mint||Feminine products||Cotton socks (black or white)|
|Candy||Shoe insoles||Pillow cases|
|Wet Weather items||Hand and foot warmers|
|Winter socks (military green, black – Meet Reg 670-1)|
|Gloves (light weight winter) military green, black – Meet Reg 670-1)|
|Sunglasses (Wiley X – Regulation only)|
We've learned a thing or two about saving on shipping over the years. Here are some of our best tips for saving based on using our free shipping tools on Shipthrifty.com. Rates vary based on distance traveled, dimensions, box type, and weight.
When a box is larger or goes beyond a range that the carrier desires they will sometimes charge an extra fee to discourage people from using that size box. This is called a surcharge.
Here's when USPS charges extra (It's possible to be charged multiple fees on a single package):
To give you a reference a 12 x 12 x 12 box is 1 cubic foot. A box that is 22 x 12 x 12 falls short of the dimensional fees
Note: During the holiday's surcharges are added to compensate for the heavy shipping volume. USPS usually starts them in October, and to run through most of January. Holiday surcharges are unavoidable.
If your box is similar in dimensions to a flat rate box and under 20 pounds, a flat rate box may cost more than a brown or generic box. Large flat rate boxes are better for heavier items, and you'll also pay less for them using ShipThrifty.com ( A USPS Large Flat Rate box is 12 x 12 x 5.5).
If you're sending multiple smaller boxes to the same place, consider getting a larger box and combining the items to save money. You can find boxes at local home improvement or retail stores. They typically cost a couple of dollars.
Consider your timing and carrier. Priority services or expedited services can cost more than others, and carriers charge different rates for different services. There is a special, discounted service called media mail for published items.
Using the right size box helps you get the most out of your shipping dollars. Larger boxes are great for fragile items needing extra padding, but you don't want to use a box that is too big for what you're shipping. You pay based on dimensions and weight. Finding fun fillers like socks or candy can help fill up extra space.
ShipThrifty is a web-based software that lets you create shipping labels online to save time, money, and hassles.
Easily send packages to military members inside the U.S. or bases worldwide.
Whether you need to send one box or a bunch, you ship to friends and family, for your nonprofit or business; ShipThrifty is the best way to get the job done.
Military nonprofits, families, branches, and corporations have loved our shipping tools since 2018
There is a way that is one hundred times faster and so much easier! Since 2018 we've been working with nonprofits and groups across the U.S. who send care packages to the troops. They all transformed their shipping process from a huge project to a simple, fast, & fun one!
While any online tool could drastically help your group save time and money on your care package shipping, we think it's time you check out the tools on ShipThrifty.com.
Whether you send one package yourself or hundreds with your group, our tools were built to serve the military community. We have powerful, easy-to-use tools that are 100% free, and our experts are here to help at any time.
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