The main goal of UPS, and other shipping companies, is to provide a way for people all around the world to connect with each other either personally or professionally.
For those with loved ones in the military, this is especially important- but can UPS ship to military addresses, and what do you need to know about it? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
What Is UPS Military Shipping In 2023?
The only way you can send a UPS package to a military base is through UPS SurePost, which is a hybrid shipping service UPS offers with USPS in 2023. This is because only USPS is allowed on military bases to deliver mail. If your UPS package is not SurePost, it will not be delivered to APO, FPO, or DPO addresses.
If you’re looking to use UPS to ship your next package to an FPO, APO, or DPO address, be sure to keep reading to learn more about how to do it correctly!
What Is UPS Military Shipping?
Military shipping is a term used when you’re shipping a package to an APO, FPO, or DPO address, which are different types of military addresses.
APO stands for Army Post Office- these addresses are either domestic or international addresses for the Army and Air Force.
DPO stands for Diplomatic Post Office, which almost always means the package is being sent internationally as most diplomats, ambassadors, translators, etc are stationed overseas.
FPO stands for Fleet Post Office, which handles packages for the Navy- since Naval members are usually stationed on ships, these packages take the longest to arrive.
These addresses tend to work very similarly to shipping to PO boxes.
They are locations directly affiliated with the United States government, and are typically protected areas that require a military ID or badge to access.
Can You Send Military Packages Through UPS?
So now that we understand what military shipping is, and the types of military addresses you can ship to, you may be wondering if UPS has access to these sorts of locations.
The short answer is no, UPS can not deliver packages to APO, FPO, or DPO locations directly.
However, there is a loop hole that comes in the form of UPS SurePost.
UPS SurePost is a hybrid shipping service offered in tandem with USPS to help both companies turn a profit while playing to their strengths and supporting their weaknesses.
This enables UPS to focus on the aspects of shipping that it excels at, such as long-distance shipping, and overall coordination of resources.
In return for UPS handling those aspects of the shipping process, USPS handles factors such as last mile transport.
When talking about shipping to military addresses like APO, FPO, and DPO, USPS brings another critical strength to the table: access.
We previously discussed the fact that UPS as a private company doesn’t have access to most military areas since they require special identification and clearances.
However, because USPS is a government organization, this company has access where UPS has none.
That’s not to say that any postal worker could wander onto the military base of their choosing, however.
Nearly all branches of the military have special MOS’s, or Military Occupational Specialties, that handle the dissemination of mail.
USPS’ role is usually dropping the mail off at the bases, and making sure the mail transitions into the hands of the MOS that’s responsible for mail.
From there, military personnel handles the actual delivery of the mail.
It’s important to understand that the only way to have a UPS package delivered to a military address is to use UPS SurePost.
Other UPS shipping services can send packages to areas with a high density of military workers.
However, any APO, FPO, or DPO address, as well as any addresses located on a military base, cannot be reached by anything other than UPS SurePost or a USPS service.
How Does Military Shipping with UPS Work?
Like described above, UPS SurePost is a hybrid shipping service that plays to the strengths of each individual company, in this case UPS and USPS.
UPS, as a private organization would not typically have access to military locations such as APO, FPO, and DPO addresses.
However, USPS does have access, and since it handles last mile delivery, UPS SurePost packages can be delivered to these more sensitive areas.
In order to use UPS SurePost, simply visit the “create a shipment” page of the UPS website, which can be found here, and fill out all of the requested information about your package.
When selecting a shipping service, be sure to select UPS SurePost, and then proceed as normal.
It’s important to keep in mind that while UPS does it’s best to keep the shipping process simple, there are several things to bear in mind when addressing and sending military packages.
Some requirements of APO, FPO, and DPO packages are:
- You must address the package using the service member’s full name and rank
- Address must include the Unit/CMR/PSC number, APO/FPO/DPO box number, the APO/FPO/DPO designation, the AA/AE/AP region, and Zip Code
- You must include a return address
- DO NOT include city or country name
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of following so many new rules, don’t worry!
UPS has a great guide online, which can be accessed through this link to help you properly address and ship all of your APO, FPO, and/or DPO packages using UPS SurePost.
If you’d prefer to have someone help you ship your package in person, however, then you can always head down to your local UPS Store.
You can a location find by using this online resource on the UPS Store website.
To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not UPS have planes, UPS shipping restrictions, and if UPS ships to Puerto Rico.
Military shipping is a term used to refer to shipping a package to an APO, FPO, or DPO destination. The only UPS service that offers military shipping is UPS SurePost, as it is a hybrid shipping service UPS offers in partnership with USPS.
UPS as a private organization does not have the clearance necessary to deliver to these types of areas, but USPS as a government-owned organization does. Any UPS packages that are not UPS SurePost will not be delivered to military addresses.