2023 USPS Holiday Shipping Cut-Off Dates for Military Members

The US Post Office has set 2023 deadlines to mail packages to and from overseas locations, including overseas military locations and APO, FPO, and DPO addresses.
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Holiday shipping deadlines for militaryPhoto: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Lewis

The U.S. Postal Service sets deadlines to mail packages to and from overseas locations, including Army, Air Force, Fleet, and Diplomatic Post Office addresses.

Shipping to APO/FPO/DPO addresses can take a little longer than shipping within the continental US, especially when the holiday season rolls around. Allow extra time before cutoff dates if possible since some shipments may require customs checks or may experience other delays.

Paying attention to shipping cutoff dates to ensures your Holiday gifts and care packages arrive on time for the holidays.

2023 Domestic Mail Holiday Shipping Cut-Off Dates

Domestic Mail Class/Product (excludes Hawaii and Alaska)Cut-Off Date
USPS Ground AdvantageDec. 16
First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)Dec. 16
Priority MailDec. 18
Priority Mail ExpressDec. 20

Delivery dates to Hawaii and Alaska may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions, including customs delays, but generally follow the same schedule as above. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered or delivery was not attempted within two business days.

2023 Military Mail Christmas Holiday Cut-Off Dates

Military members can receive standard packages at Military Post Offices, Army or Air Force Post Offices, and Fleet Post Offices addresses. The price of military mail postage is the same as domestic postage, and a First-Class mail stamp will deliver a letter to a U.S. military service member located anywhere in the world.

Overseas packages are sent to East or West Coast US distribution centers and then shipped to military installations worldwide. Keep in mind that there can be delays, so it’s best to send your letters and packages early if possible. The holiday cut-off schedule for all APO/FPO/DPO Zip Code addresses is the same.

Express Mail Military Service – PMEMSFirst Class MailPriority MailUSPS Ground Advantage
Dec. 15Dec. 9Dec. 9Nov. 6

PMEMS is available to select military post offices. Check with your local post office to determine if this service is available.

2023 International Mail Christmas Holiday Cut-Off Dates

Here are the 2023 Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions, including customs delays.

DestinationGlobal Express Guaranteed Priority Mail Express InternationalPriority Mail International First-Class Package International Service
AfricaDec. 15Dec. 6Nov. 29Nov. 29
Asia/Pacific RimDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
Australia/New ZealandDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
CanadaDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
CaribbeanDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
Central & South AmericaDec. 15Dec. 6Nov. 29Nov. 29
MexicoDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
EuropeDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6
Middle EastDec. 15Dec. 13Dec. 6Dec. 6

For Global Express Guaranteed, cutoff does not take into account time needed for customs clearance. Extra Transit time should be allocated. Dates are not a guarantee, and are only for estimated delivery before December 25th. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions, including customs delays. Some restrictions apply.

Tips for Sending Military Members Mail Overseas

There are a few restrictions for sending mail to military members in overseas locations. In general, ensure that anything you send to military members overseas is legal in the country where they are located. Also avoid sending hazardous items, illegal substances and anything else that may be restricted.

  • Use sturdy packaging. Use a strong box with appropriate tape (no string or twine).
  • Use adequate cushioning. Bubble Wrap, air cushions, and Styrofoam peanuts are great for securely packing items.
  • Labels and customs forms. Clearly label the contents, especially if you need a customs form.
  • Batteries. Remove batteries from objects and wrap them separately.
  • Be aware of heat or other extremes. Many military members are stationed in extreme temperatures, and some contents may not do well in hot weather. (For example, it’s not a good idea to send chocolate bars to a desert location in the summer).
  • Don’t send packages addressed to “Any Service Member or Any Wounded Warrior.” This practice has been discontinued following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Only send packages to troops you know, or make a donation to a service organization that supplies troops with care packages.


Customs Forms Are Required When Sending Packages to APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Codes

Any packages being sent out of the country to an APO, FPO or foreign address must have an electronic customs declaration form. The form can be completed online at the USPS website for presentation at the post office.


Use the Military Care Package Kit to Send Packages

You can order a free military care kit created by the Postal Service. It contains the following frequently requested items.

  1. Two Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO flat-rate boxes
  2. Four Priority Mail medium flat-rate boxes (two top-loading and two side-loading)
  3. One roll of Priority Mail tape
  4. Six Priority Mail address labels
  5. Six customs-form envelopes

Call the U.S. Postal Service at 800-610-8734 to order a kit, and visit their website for guidelines for packing and shipping packages to service membersTo order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports YOU” logo, go to usps.com/freeboxes.

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  1. Rick Smith says

    I mailed a package to my son in germany on 12/10/2010 parcel post. was told should arrive by Christmas. it is now January 15 and they still have not received it. when i enter the customs tracking number, it only shows the date mailed from our post office and no updated information. would like to know if you could help track my box. please email me. thank you in advance. customs #cp588302452us.

      • Hate UPS says

        USPS will not help you once it is out of their hands. I’ve been looking for four packages for Germany for days! All they could tell me was it was out of their system by 12/24/2011. Customs numbers or not-they are done once it reaches the militray. I’m waiting to hear from [email protected] to see if they can help. Once again-once it is in the hands of the militray the USPS is done and are not much help. Good luck!

  2. Nancy Sadowsky says

    Mailed a box priority on 11/02/2010 to APO address from Bottineau, ND 58318. Customs Tracking #CP63 9434 582U S. Box has not been recieved to date 12/02/2010 by military family. I thought I mailed early enough. I just want someone to help track this box so I have some idea what’s going on or what I need to do. When I enter customs tracking # in, it shows me package was delivered in 2009!! It’s very frustrating. Thank You.

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