Shipping a package to an APO (Army/Air Force Post Office – for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force postal facilities) or FPO (Fleet Post Office – for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard postal facilities) address is really no different than mailing a regular domestic package. The problem is that some eBay sellers and online stores do not ship to APO/FPO addresses either because of the package carrier they use, or due to software or business process limitations, or due to ignorance. This article covers some of the APO/FPO shipping restrictions, and how to overcome some of them.
Amazon APO/FPO address shipping restrictions
Amazon has the following APO/FPO address shipping restrictions:
Having trouble entering an APO, FPO, or DPO address on our order form? Following these steps should help:
- City field: Enter “APO,”FPO,” or “DPO.”
- State/Province/Region field: Enter the two-letter code for the region where the recipient is stationed. Typically, but not always, the code is “AE” for recipients stationed in Europe, Canada, Africa, or the Middle East; “AA” for recipients stationed in the Americas; and “AP” for recipients stationed in Asia or the Pacific.
- Country field: Always select “United States” from the drop-down menu regardless of where the recipient is stationed.
Following these steps will ensure that you’re charged the correct shipping amount and that your order will be delivered in a timely fashion. All shipments to APO, FPO, DPO addresses are sent via U.S. Priority or First Class Mail. We estimate 5 to 7 business days for delivery once the order has been shipped; however, some destinations may take up to 21 days.
Most items can be shipped to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses, except:
- cell phones and service
- grocery items
- outdoor living items
- Target@Amazon.com items
Additionally, some apparel, baby, camera and photo, electronics, health and personal care, housewares, jewelry, software, sports, and tools and hardware items cannot be shipped to APO, FPO, or DPO addresses. An error message will appear at checkout if you enter an APO, FPO, or DPO address and the item isn’t eligible to be shipped to that address. Check the item’s product detail page for eligibility.
The only way to get packages to an APO/FPO/DPO address is via the U.S. Postal Service. The package is delivered to the military post office by the USPS, and then shipped overseas through the military postal system. This means that ALL USPS size, weight and content restrictions must be adhered to in order for a package/parcel to be mailed out to an APO/FPO address. In general package can’t exceed 70 pounds, be larger than 130 inches when you add the length (the longest side) and the girth, or contain prohibited items (flammables, air conditioners, etc.) You can always break the packages/parcels down into several smaller packages that fall under the weight and size limit. Note that each APO/FPO address has its own specific set of Zip Code Restrictions, these restrictions always supercedes the normal weight limit of 70 pounds and normal size limit of 130 inches (length + girth).
Overcoming geographical restrictions of APO/FPO address shipping restrictions
Some online stores and eBay sellers do not ship APO/FPO addresses. There are several reasons for that:
- Some eBay sellers and online stores use United Parcel Services (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx) to ship parcels/packages only, while only USPS can deliver purchases to APO/FPO addresses.
- Some sellers just don’t know an APO/FPO/DPO address is, or their website software does not allow the Military Mail States AA, AE and AP to be entered.
If this is the case, you may
- Contact the eBay seller or online store and ask to ship to your APO/FPO addresses.
- Use a parcel/package forwarding service (freight forwarder) like Shipito. By now you know that a package/parcel forwarding service must be able to deliver by USPS (The United States Postal Service).
Note that some eBay sellers and online stores do not ship to package/parcel forwarding services:
Note for online sellers and stores about shipping to APO/FPO addresses
If you are an eBay, online seller, store, you can easily ship to APO/FPO addresses by USPS. This will increase your customer base and sales. And you will be offering a valuable service to those serving the United States of America.
Share you experience on shipping to APO/FPO addresses
Have you ever shipped to APO/FPO addresses? Did you use USPS or any parcel/package forwarding services? Did you have ship any prohibited items by mistake?