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Get Those Packages Delivered

Here are the deadlines to ship your holiday packages.

Submitted by the U.S. Post Office.

As the “Official Shipper of the Holidays,” the United States Postal Service released the suggested mail-by dates to ensure packages, cards, and letters reach their intended destination before the 2011 celebrations begin.

Dates are provided as a guide for dropping holiday wishes into the mail.

Postmarking for domestic mail — mailed from and delivered within the U.S. — and international mail destined for overseas should occur by:

Domestic Mail Product Mail-by Date First-Class Mail Dec. 20 Priority Mail Dec. 21 Express Mail Dec. 22 Parcel Post Dec. 15 DNDC Drop Ship Dec. 19 DDU Drop Ship Dec. 22   International Mail Addressed To Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)1*** Express Mail® International (EMS)2 Priority Mail® International (PMI)3 First-Class Mail® Africa Dec. 20 Dec. 10 Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Asia/Pacific Rim Dec. 19 Dec. 15 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Australia/New Zealand Dec. 19 Dec. 15 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Canada Dec. 21 Dec. 16 Dec. 12 Dec. 9 Caribbean Dec. 20 Dec. 15 Dec. 12 Dec. 9 Central & South America Dec. 20 Dec. 10 Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Mexico Dec. 21 Dec.15 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Europe Dec. 20 Dec. 15 Dec. 12 Dec. 9 Middle East Dec. 20 Dec. 15 Dec. 12 Dec. 9

***GXG Notes:
1 Cutoff date does not take into account time needed for customs clearance.
2 Should allocate extra transit day(s) for delivery outside major cities.
3 Last day to ship to Afghanistan is Dec 19 and Iraq is Dec 16.  

Military APO/FPO Addresses

In anticipation of a busy holiday shipping season, the United States Postal Service is announcing recommended holiday mailing dates and a discounted, flat rate price of $12.95 on packages sent to military service personnel worldwide. The price includes a $2 per box discount on Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes for military mail being sent to APO/FPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office) destinations worldwide.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, cards and packages to military APO/FPO addresses overseas should be sent no later than the mailing dates listed below.

Military Mail Addressed To: Express Mail Military Service1 First-Class Mail Letters/Cards Priority Mail Parcel Airlift Mail2 Space Available Mail3 Parcel Post APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092 Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 10 Dec. 3 Nov. 26 Nov. 12 APO/FPO AE ZIP 093 N/A Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 1 Nov. 26 Nov. 12 APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098 Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 10 Dec. 3 Nov. 26 Nov. 12 APO/FPO AA ZIP 340 Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 10 Dec. 3 Nov. 26 Nov. 12 APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966 Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 10 Dec. 3 Nov. 26 Nov. 12

Mailing date chart footnotes:
1 Express Mail Military Service (EMMS) is available at select military Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO address.
2 Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) 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. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
3 Space Available Mail (SAM) parcels are paid at Parcel Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

The recommended last day to mail the most economical postage to overseas military destinations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, is Nov. 12.

“We suggest using the Postal Service’s Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes for sending all your military packages overseas this holiday season,” said Giselle Valera, vice president and managing director, Global Business.

“There’s no shipping service that’s a better value, more reliable, or easier to use than our Flat Rate program. And, those familiar red and white boxes emblazoned with the ‘America Supports You’ logo are sure to remind those away from home, of a bit of home.”

For online ordering of the large Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo and information about mailing letters and packages to military destinations, visit Priority Mail APO/FPO Boxes under “Order Free Boxes.”

The Postal Service also offers free military care kits, designed specifically for military families sending packages overseas. Each kit includes two “America Supports You” large Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, four medium-sized Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, six Priority Mail labels, one roll of Priority Mail tape and six customs forms with envelopes. The mailing kits can be ordered by requesting them at 800-610-8734. Additional savings are available for customers printing Priority Mail postage labels online at Click-N-Ship where additional discounts can be obtained for preparing your military mailing online.

Mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO addresses generally require customs forms. To see an online table of updated APO and FPO addresses and mailing restrictions by individual APO/FPO ZIP codes, click on APO/FPO Addresses, select “Pull-Out Information” and click on “Other Information.”

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