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Shipping to APO address

Started by ghacker, 01/29/2008 06:31PM
Posted 01/29/2008 06:31PM Opening Post
Anyone have any experience in shipping to an APO address? Have a serviceman stationed overseas who wants to buy an item. Have never shipped out of the country nevermind an APO.

He's requested that I ship to a zip code and the Military handles it from there. Anything unusual I should be aware of-special packing, declarations, etc.?
Posted 01/29/2008 06:38PM | Edited 01/29/2008 06:39PM #1
Is this person an Astromart member? does he/she have many good ratings?
Sorry if I sound way too cautious, but there are plenty of bad stories about shipping overseas, and you'd be surprised of how tricky these people get...

Of course, this could be a 100% legitimate transaction..., I just want you to MAKE SURE it is one... (I've had about 3-4 transactions overseas, and all went fine, but I made sure I knew who I was dealing with)

Ivan Gastaldo 8)
Coconut Creek, FL

Ivan's Observatory
Lat 26N 16' 48" Long 80W 10' 48"
[COLOR="Red"]Personal Website:[/COLOR] http://www.ivangastaldo.com

CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky - Moderator
I like to complain about everything - Moderator
Posted 02/01/2008 09:58PM #2
Dennis,

I was a Manager for the USPS before I retired in December. APOs and FPOs are the point the USPS delivers all military mail. The big ones are at New York, San Francisco and Seattle also a number of smaller ones as necessary. Each base or unit is assigned a Zip Code for routing of the mail. The military tells the USPS what APO or FPO to deliver what ZIP to and it can change if the unit moves. Take a Navy ship that moves from East Coast to West Coast and the USPS will then change the routing from NY to San Francisco. At each APO or FPO there are both USPS and military employees but after the USPS employees hand the mail over to the military it is no longer touched or routed by the USPS. This allows the military to arrange the best and fastest transportation to get the mail to the units if the unit moves then the military knows where to route it. The person mailing an item to an APO or FPO just goes to the post office and the clerk has a book with restrictions by ZIP for the mail. It usually must meet the restrictions of the country it is going to but the military has Zips that they do not allow the USPS to know where they are routed so the military instructs the USPS on what size and what can be mailed to each Zip. The only major restrictions to some Zips are size due to the item having to fit in a sack so it can be flown. You also must meet normal postal restrictions and usually provide a Customs Form (the clerk can tell you which one).

There are a number of reasons that UPS and FEDX don't deliver to APOs and FPOs money, security and federal laws. It all goes back to before the USPS became a Semi-Private Corp.

If you send something to a service man/woman at a APO or FPO you can be sure you are safe. If you have problems and you insured it the USPS will pay you. Problems can be refered to the Base or Unit Commander by letter if necessary.

Hope this helps, Bill