USPS offers new rate for military holiday shipping

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas is just around the corner. Many may be getting a little stressed out.

The good news for some people is they still have four weeks to get everything done. For some families who have husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters over seas time is running even shorter to make sure their family members get a special gift from home.

The United States Postal Service has been helping families who have to ship packages overseas this year by providing a large flat rate box that is $10.95 to send to any Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO). This flat rate box can hold anything your APO or FPO grants acceptable for soldiers that will fit in the box up to a total of 70 pounds.

“We have had a lot of people come in and buy the flat rate boxes because they want to be able to send goodies like hard candy and potted meat, which would normally be weighed first causing the sender to spend extra money. This has been a big help in sending care packages,” said Donna Wyatt, Chilton County Post Office Sales Service Associate.

The flat rate box is also printed with support our troops on the side.

In order to make sure your loved one gets a care package or letter by Christmas, the package must be shipped by Dec. 4 for parcel airlift; Dec. 11 for first class mail and Dec. 18 for express mail.

Wyatt added that the post office only mails the packages and letters to the APO and FPO. After that, the packages are delivered by the military, so there is no guarantee that the packages will arrive on time unless they are sent early.

It is also important to make sure that you are sending items that soldiers are allowed to receive through mail. Check with your local APO or FPO for verification of items that you wish to send to a loved one.

“We want to make sure that everyone has a good Christmas, even the people that can’t be home,” Wyatt said.