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Can You Send UPS To A PO Box

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

There’s no denying that UPS is one of the greatest options for delivering to both local and foreign destinations, but what if you need something delivered to an IP address rather than a physical street address?

Is it possible for UPS to deliver packages to Post Office Boxes? Continue reading to see what I discovered on the subject if you’re interested!

In 2022, will UPS still deliver to PO Boxes?

In 2022, UPS no longer ships to PO boxes. Since post office boxes are government property and UPS is a private company, only USPS has access. The only method to send to a PO box with UPS is to use the USPS program Street Address, which allows you to use a street address instead of a PO box.

If you want to understand more about how to ship a UPS package to a PO box and why there are so many restrictions about PO boxes, continue reading this page! As a general rule, UPS does not deliver items to post office boxes.

The sole exemption to this restriction clearly listed on the UPS website pertains to military addresses, which are legally considered PO boxes but are nonetheless deliverable per UPS standards.

The military has its own specialized postal channel, which allows UPS to send directly to the installation without having to sort the mail into individual PO boxes or addresses.

These addresses are either Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses, indicating Army and Air Force installations, or Navy sites and ships, respectively.

The following is an example of how to correctly format an APO/FPO address:

  • SSGT RECIPIENT NAME UNIT 2050 BOX 4190 APO AP 96278-2050

While the UPS website gives the correct addressing format for a PO box, there are several reasons why UPS cannot deliver to these addresses, which are outlined below.

Why Does UPS Not Deliver to PO Boxes?

For customers who desire to receive their mail at a location other than their street address, an unique service known as a PO box is available. Post Office is abbreviated as PO because post offices offer PO boxes as a service.

The post office is a division of the United States Postal Service (USPS), a government-owned and -operated institution. This renders all USPS property, including mailboxes and PO boxes, government property, preventing private companies like UPS and FedEx from accessing these locations.

Nonetheless, a rather effective workaround exists for these issues. Enrolling in the “Street Address” service with USPS is the first step in having UPS deliver to your PO box.

You may accomplish this by phoning or visiting your local post office and providing the required information regarding your PO Box, as well as asking if your PO Box location participates in the Street Address program.

If the response is affirmative, USPS will provide you with the street address of the place where your PO box is situated, and UPS will begin delivering packages to your PO box immediately.

Typical postal box addresses are formatted as follows:

  • RECEIVER’S NAME PO BOX 101010 ANYTOWN AZ 01234

After confirming that your USPS PO box location has the Street Address service, the address can be written as follows:

  • NAME OF RECIPIENT 47 ANYVILLE RD UNIT 101010 ANYTOWN, AZ 01234

Once this modification has been completed, UPS will deliver your shipment to the USPS site of your PO box, where the presiding clerk will place it in the correct PO box.

UPS Ships to International PO Boxes?

UPS has a vast array of worldwide delivery options, but does not ship to overseas PO boxes. This does not apply to military PO boxes, as UPS can nearly always send to international military addresses, providing they are APO or FPO.

UPS can send to military PO boxes but not to normal PO boxes since these deliveries are not handled by UPS.

Instead, mail brought to a military facility is passed to guards at the entrance to be collected and distributed by military postal workers.

Who Can Ship to a Post Office Box?

Due to the fact that PO boxes, like mailboxes, are government property, only USPS is permitted to oversee shipments sent to PO boxes.

Using the Street Address service, UPS can send to some PO Boxes (as previously mentioned above). This program is not available at all USPS PO box locations, however, and it is primarily up to the management at each store to accept UPS packages and deposit them in the appropriate PO box.

This is why you should always contact your PO box location before sending a UPS shipment, as the USPS clerk may refuse the package if you send it anyhow. A package that is refused will either be returned to the sender or held at a UPS facility until you pick it up.

Bottom Line

Technically, UPS does not ship PO boxes since they are owned and administered by USPS, a government agency, making them federal property.

However, many USPS PO box locations have the Street Address program, which enables PO box locations to be addressed in a way that permits them to be accepted and transferred by a USPS employee into the relevant PO box.

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