Know when and how to ship


Know when and how to ship

by: Military Postal Service Agency | .
Military Postal Service Agency | .
published: November 21, 2016

How to send it

Space-available (SAM) – The cheapest service because packages take longer to reach a destination.

It offers air transport of parcels on a space-available basis to or from military post offices outside the U.S and surface transport within the U.S. There is a weight limit of 70 pounds and a combined length and girth limit of 130 inches.

Parcel airlift (PAL) – Uses air transport on a space-available basis similar to SAM plus air transport to the destination city or the city nearest to it inside the U.S. There is a weight limit of 30 pounds and a combined length and girth limit of 60 inches.

First class – Handles items weighing up to 13 ounces. Flat-rate packaging available.

Priority – Same as First-Class mail but for items weighing over 13 ounces to 70 pounds. Combined length and girth limit of 108 inches. Flat-rate packaging available.

Express mail military service (EMMS) – Offers preferred and/or expedited service. Not available from all USAFE APOs.

Extra services

Insurance – Offers coverage against loss or damage up to $5,000, with the price based on the declared value of the item(s).

Registered – Offers maximum security, insuring items up to $25,000, with the price based on the declared value of the item(s). Tracks movement of mail from beginning to end.

Certified – Provides evidence of mailing as well as the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery. Requires the recipient to sign upon delivery.

Delivery confirmation – Shows when an item was delivered or when delivery was attempted using a Track and Confirm tool you can use on your computer.

Certificate of mailing – Offers evidence of the date your mail was accepted by the post office.

Return receipt – Provides proof that an item was delivered, through a postcard or email showing the signature of the recipient.

Restricted delivery – Specifies who can sign for and receive your mail

Special handling – Offers preferential handling if you’re sending something that needs extra care.

Mailing tips

Print names and addresses of both shipper and recipient clearly on packages with a pen or permanent marker.

Put an extra label with the addresses inside the package in case the original one is defaced. Also include an itemized list of contents.

  • Select a box strong enough to protect the contents and appropriate for the amount and size of items inside.
  • Leave space for cushioning inside the carton, using bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, or newspaper to protect the contents.
  • Use tape designed for shipping, using enough to secure the opening and seams of the box.
  • Put newspaper or packing material in hollow items to avoid damage during transport.
  • Write “fragile” or “perishable” on packages when shipping such items.
  • Use boxes, envelopes and tubes the post office provides for Express Mail and Priority Mail.

– Military Postal Service Agency

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