Postal Service Sets Holiday Mailing Guidelines 2008
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2008 - As the holidays approach and military
start thinking about what they're going to send loved ones
serving overseas, there are a few dates to keep in mind.
earliest deadline is for troops that are serving in the Iraq [and]
Afghanistan area," said Al DeSarro, spokesman for the
western region of
the U.S. Postal Service. "You want to send all your holiday mail and
packages [to those areas] by
Holiday mail, including packages and cards, going to military bases in
other parts of the world should
be shipped by Dec. 11, he said.
"We do encourage people to closely follow these deadlines," DeSarro
said. "Of course,
we make every attempt, even if you miss the deadline,
to deliver the mail to our troops."
Pseudo-Santas who can't
beat those dates have another option to get
holiday goodies to their destinations in time: Express Mail. But it will
a bit more and it's not available for servicemembers serving in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes
are the best value when shipping to
military members serving at home or anywhere overseas, DeSarro said. The
flat-rate box costs $10.95 to ship to an APO or FPO address.
That's a $2 discount, and the boxes are free.
boxes come with another bonus. If it will fit in the box,
and weighs 70 pounds or less, it ships at the established rate.
also offer a special military package kit, ... and this applies even
if you want to send to our troops here in the U.S.,"
DeSarro said. "If
you call ... 1-800-610-8734, they'll send you a free kit of packaging
materials -- priority mail boxes,
tape, labels and stuff that can make
your holiday packing much easier."
When shipping any holiday package, there
are some basic guidelines to
take into consideration, he added. If a USPS-provided box isn't being
used, senders should
make sure the box they're using is sturdy. Don't
use wrapping paper or string on the outside, and print both the shipping
return addresses clearly. Contents should be packaged securely and
in leak-proof containers, and consider the customs of
the country to
ensure the items are appropriate and acceptable.
USPS also suggests including the mailing address,
return address and the
contents of the box on a slip of paper with the other contents, just in
case something out of
the ordinary should happen.
Following not only the shipping date guidelines, but also the general
can help the USPS get packages where they're going
during their busiest time of the year.
DeSarro urges people to
mail as much as they want and as early as they
can, noting that officials expect 20 million pounds of mail will be sent
troops this holiday season.
USPS Overseas Holiday Shipping Calendar for Delivery by Dec. 25