How To Efficiently Ship To A US Navy Ship Address (APO/FPO)

How To Efficiently Ship To A US Navy Ship Address (APO/FPO)

We understand the importance of shipping to APO/FPO addresses and the unique challenges it presents. We have developed a guide to help you efficiently ship to an FPO address.

Sending letters or packages to our troops stationed all over the world is a meaningful way to show love and support. However, shipping to military addresses, specifically FPO (Fleet Post Office) and APO (Army Post Office) addresses, requires some special considerations. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of shipping packages to US military ships and bases.

What is an APO and FPO address

Unlike standard shipments, APO/FPO mail follows a different procedure when shipping to a military address. It is crucial to provide a correctly formatted address to ensure successful delivery. Here are the steps to address FPO or APO mail correctly:

Step 1 - Write the Full Name and Rank

Write the full name of the service member and include their rank. For example, "CDR Bob Smith" indicates the rank of Commander. Can also be formatted, “CDR Smith, Bob.”

Step 2 - Include the Ship or Unit Name

Include the ship or unit name in the company line. This helps in routing the mail accurately. For instance, "USS John Paul Jones” or “HSC-13”.

Step 3 - Include Unit and Box Number

Include the unit and assigned box number of the service member. This is required in routing the mail accurately. For instance, "Box 0402" specifies the box number. If you are uncertain of the specific box number, use: “Box 1.”

Step 4 - Enter Military Postal Code

In the area where you would typically write the city, enter the appropriate military postal code instead. Use "APO/FPO" to indicate the military installation.

Step 5 - Use Military Postal Abbreviations

Instead of the state, use the following abbreviations:

  • AE: Used for Armed Forces Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.
  • AP: Used for Armed Forces Pacific.
  • AA: Used for Armed Forces Americas (excluding Canada).

Step 6 - Provide the Zip Code

Include the appropriate five-digit zip code to complete the address. This ensures accurate routing of the mail to the APO address.

Example of FPO Mail Address

FPO addresses are used for mail sent to Navy installations and ships. Here's an example of a correctly formatted FPO address to ensure your loved one receives their care package or letter:

PO1 John Doe (Name)
USS John Paul Jones (Company Line - optional/helpful)
Unit 100535 Box 3333 (Address Line 1)
Deck Division (Address Line 2 - optional)
FPO, AP 96667 (City, State, Zip)

Carriers that Ship to APO and FPO Locations

USPS is the only postal service that can deliver mail and packages to APO/FPO locations due to security restrictions. Other carriers like FedEx or UPS are not available for shipping to military addresses.

*Complete the Customs Forms

To comply with international shipping regulations, you need to fill out the customs forms accurately. Here's what you should do:

  • Use the PS Form 2976-A to declare the contents, value, and weight of the package.
  • Provide detailed information about the items you are shipping, including their description, quantity, and value.
  • Sign and date the customs form.

*Of course, we handle this part for you when shipping to your loved ones.

Delivery Times for Military Mail & Global APO/FPO Addresses

The delivery lead time for shipping to military/FPO addresses is anywhere between 3 to 45 business days and varies based on several factors. Here are some reasons why the delivery time may vary:

Military Supply Chain / Operational Schedules

The availability and schedules of military aircraft, replenishment ships, and operational commitments play a role in the delivery lead time. Delivery to certain locations may be less frequent, causing slight delays in the delivery process.

Weather Delays

Adverse weather conditions can impact the delivery of packages to military addresses. Severe weather events may result in delayed or rerouted shipments.

Delivery Destination

The distance and location of the military ship, base, or installation can affect the delivery time. Packages traveling to remote or overseas locations may require more transit time.

Sorting Process Delays

The sorting process within the military postal system may occasionally experience delays, resulting in extended delivery times.

Courier Service Tier

The chosen courier service tier can influence the delivery time. USPS Priority Mail offers faster delivery options, while Parcel Select provides a more affordable but slower shipping alternative.

Conclusion

Shipping to APO/FPO addresses requires attention to detail and adherence to specific guidelines. By following the correct addressing format, understanding shipping restrictions, and utilizing reliable couriers like USPS, we can ensure that your packages reach your loved ones in the US Armed Forces without any complications.


3 comments


  • Dan Vogel

    YOUR SITE DOES NOT ALLOW US TO SHIP TO A US NAVY SHIP USING A “FPO AE” ADDRESS. HOW DO WE BUY FOR AND SHIP TO OUR GRADSONS SHIP USING YOUR SITE?


  • Jackie Cordell

    I would like to have this shipped to my son on his ship that is deployed but I don’t see here on address how to fill out for P.O. Box.


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