Military Guide to Shipping Packages

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One constant of being in the military is needing to ship packages, both to and from installations, and within and outside the country. This page will be updated with important mailing dates and information, as well as packaging and mailing tips, so check back often.

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Afghanistan Mailing Information

(Includes Pakistan Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc.)

1. The average transit time from AFGHANISTAN for retrograde mail (mail leaving the AOR) is 11 days.

2. Mailing restrictions "H1- Pork or pork by-products" are prohibited and "V- Express Mail Military Service (EMMS)" not available from any origin are the most common restrictions for IRAQ.

3. All mailing restrictions for Overseas Military Mail can be located in the most current USPS Postal Bulletin at www.USPS.com.

4. Mail delivery frequencies to U.S. service members assigned to remote forward operating bases (FOBs) within Afghanistan are determined by unit commanders. Combat operations, weather, and enemy threat are considered when planning for resupply missions to FOBs, and are a significant cause of mail delays.

5. PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A is required on all mail articles containing merchandise.

6. Mailers should avoid including the city and country name in the mailing address of an APO/FPO. This could confuse domestic mailings with international mail.

Iraq Mailing Information

Effective November 17, 2011, there are no Military Post Office service to and from Iraq. However, after November 17, 2011, service members assigned to COM Iraq / OSC will be able to receive and mail letters and parcels through the Department of State mail locations in Iraq.

Kuwait Mailing Information

1. Mailing restrictions "H1- Pork or pork by-products" are prohibited and "V- Express Mail Military Service (EMMS)" not available from any origin are the most common restrictions for KUWAIT.

2. The average transit time from KUWAIT for retrograde mail (mail leaving the AOR) is 11 days.

3. The major cause of late delivery of mail to outlying posts is the threat of attacks. If the roads are at condition RED, no trucks move: this could last anywhere from 24-72 hours. As of 10 May 2004, there had been only 1 truck reported hit; that truck caught fire. KBR contractors as well as US Military convoys must await an armed escort to move mail throughout the AOR.

4. All mailing restrictions for Overseas Military Mail can be located in the most current USPS Postal Bulletin at www.USPS.com.

5. PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A is required on all mail articles containing merchandise.

6. Mailers should avoid including the city and country name in the mailing address of an APO/FPO. This could confuse domestic mailings with international mail.

Tips on Mailing Packages

Most mail accepted at military post offices are handled numerous times, and therefore proper packaging is very important. Here are some tips: 

(1) Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents

(2) Close and gently shake the box to see whether there is enough padding

(3) Tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2" wide tape

(4) Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape

(5) The weight of your package cannot exceed 70 lbs

(6) If you are planning to use Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail services for faster delivery, length plus girth (distance around the thickest part of the package) can't exceed 108". When you use Space Available Mail, the total can't be more than 130"

(7) Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined

(8) Using a complete and correct address is critical for timely delivery. Contact your local postmaster for additional information.

Lost Packages

Are you a military member who has deployed or redeployed overseas, and are still waiting on your footlocker, duffle bag, or parcel to arrive? If 60 days has elapsed since the article was mailed, submit a mail inquiry.

Please include the following details in the comments section of the mail inquiry:

1. Type of container used for mailing: 
2. A detailed description of the container contents: 
3. Any additional information that could be used to help identify your item such as distinctive marking.

Once the information is received, MPSA will contact the service member to positively identify the owner and ship the item to the recipient should it be found.

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