While the bulk of holiday shipments can wait until December, packages mailed under certain postage types to overseas military addresses should be sent in the coming days to reach their destination by Dec. 25, according to the U.S. Postal Service’s holiday deadlines.
USPS Ground Advantage shipments to Army, Fleet, and Diplomatic post offices (APOs/FPOs/DPOs) covering ZIP codes in Armed Forces Europe, Pacific, and Central and South Americas should be mailed by Nov. 9 to arrive before Christmas. First-class and Priority Mail service can wait until Dec. 9, and Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS) items can wait until Dec. 15. PMEMS is not available for Armed Forces Europe (AE) addresses in the Middle East (ZIP code begins with 093).
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The December dates align with USPS deadlines for other international packages – shipments using Global Express Guaranteed Service to overseas locations, for instance, should be sent by Dec. 15 to make the holiday, while first-class and Priority Mail packages have Dec. 6 or Dec. 13 deadlines in most locations. See the full list at this link.
Domestic deadlines for Dec. 25 package arrival, per the Postal Service:
- USPS Ground Advantage and first-class mail: Dec. 16
- Priority Mail: Dec. 18 for all states except Hawaii (Dec. 16)
- Priority Mail Express: Dec. 20
The Postal Service provides free military shipping kits, assistance with customs forms, and other programs for those sending packages to military addresses. Click here to find out what’s available.