Most eCommerce businesses get orders or inquiries from customers with an APO or FPO shipping address. Now, like most eCommerce businesses, you likely want to fulfill every order possible. But what is an APO or FPO address, and how do I ship my goods there?
What is an APO or FPO?
APO and FPO are abbreviations used by the US Military Postal Service to deliver mail and packages to military personnel overseas. APO stands for Army Post Office and is associated with the US Army and Air Force. FPO stands for Fleet Post Office and is associated with the Navy and its ships.
APO and FPO addresses enable the USPS to deliver mail to overseas military members. When the mail is delivered to the APO or FPO by the USPS, the staff will forward the mail to the recipient’s proper military division. The division will then deliver the package to the individual.
How do I ship APO and FPO packages?
APO and FPO packages must be sent via USPS. Overseas US military bases are considered a domestic shipment, which means you need to select the United States as the ship-to country. Do not select the country where the base is located. Military postage rates are the same as U.S. domestic postage rates, because the APO or FPO pays the transportation costs to the final destination.
The address format for APO and FPO shipments is the same as for domestic shipments. See the example below.
|Name||PFC John Smith|
|Address 1||1st Battalion|
|Address 2||United 123, Box 456|
|ZIP / postal code||09063|
AE (Armed Forces Europe)
This includes Canada, Middle East, and Africa. The ZIP / postal codes start with 09, e.g. 09123.
AP (Armed Forces Pacific)
The ZIP / postal codes start with 962 – 966, i.e. 96400.
AA (Armed Forces Central and South Americas)
The ZIP / postal codes start with 340, i.e. 34011.
All military mail between the US and international locations is subject to customs inspection in the destination country, and customs documentation is typically required. Some countries may restrict or prohibit the importation of certain items. Check the USPS and the ship-to country’s regulations before shipping your goods to avoid destroyed products and returned packages.
Many businesses may have issues with APO and FPO shipments, but once you familiarize yourself with them and the proper way to ship them, they can become just as easy as every other shipment that you fulfill from day to day.