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Does FedEx deliver to PO boxes? What services deliver to the local post office?
If you want to know the answers to these questions, you’ve come to the right place.
The short answer is regular FedEx services don’t ship to your PO box. However, FedEx Ground Economy does.
Why can’t regular shipping solutions ship to PO boxes?
I’ll discuss the answer to this and more. Learn how the USPS system works and what you can do about it.
Does FedEx Deliver to PO Boxes?
The short answer is no.
Most FedEx services don’t deliver to post office boxes, including military APO, DPO, and FPO. Some examples are:
FedEx Standard Overnight
If you want to use the courier to deliver to a domestic PO box address, you only have one particular service you can use. It’s the Ground Economy Shipping option, formerly FedEx SmartPost.
However, you can use the Express option to ship to a PO box in Puerto Rico and some international destinations. You must provide a valid telephone, fax, or telex number.
What Is FedEx Ground Economy (FedEx SmartPost)?
Ground Economy is the new name for the company’s previous service, FedEx SmartPost. It partners with USPS to deliver directly to PO box locations at low shipping costs.
Delivery times could take two to seven business days, but it might take longer for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and other US territories.
FedEx SmartPost is available from Monday to Saturday. Sunday delivery is available for 80% of residential addresses.
You can use this service for small packages and lightweight parcels, with a maximum of 70 lbs. The package must also not exceed 130 in. in length plus girth.
FedEx shipping add-ons aren’t available for Ground Economy, including the following.
Signature proof of delivery
Evening, appointment, or date-certain delivery
Hazardous materials service
How FedEx PO Box Shipping Works
You ship your package through FedEx. They accept your package and use their shipping network to get it close to the delivery destination.
However, USPS takes charge of last-mile delivery.
The postal service procures your package and delivers it to the PO box.
Note: you must file a Customs Declaration CN 22 form for shipments to military APO, FPO, and DPO destinations.
Why Can’t FedEx Ship to Your PO Boxes Directly?
The reason why FedEx, along with other shipping solutions, can’t deliver to a PO box address is because of the Mailbox Restriction Law (18, USC 1725).
FedEx can only deliver to a non-post office location because it’s a private company. PO boxes are federal property under federal law.
Only the USPS service system can deliver to domestic PO boxes or military bases.
An individual violating the mailbox restriction law can incur a maximum fine of $5,000. Organizations can get up to $10,000.
1 – Can Other Companies Deliver to a PO Address?
Other delivery companies follow the mailbox restriction law that prevents them from delivering to a PO address.
2 – Are There Delivery Exceptions Where FedEx Can Deliver to PO Boxes?
FedEx and other carriers can only deliver to PO boxes if they have a service that partners with USPS. There are other workarounds, which I’ll discuss later.
3 – What Happens if You Ship to a PO Box?
If you use regular shipping options to send FedEx packages to a PO address, they will ask you for a different address format. They may hold your package until you provide a deliverable address and charge you extra for rerouting.
How To Use FedEx PO Box Shipping Service
The first step is to print a shipping label. You may also skip this step and have it printed at a FedEx location.
You can make shipping labels by downloading the FedEx app on your phone through these QR codes.
Follow these steps to ship your package.
Specify you’re using the Ground Economy service.
Look for FedEx locations by searching your ZIP code.
Choose your city.
Click on the Copy and Print button.
Drop off your package at your chosen location.
How To Get a FedEx Package Delivered to a PO Address
If you want to use another FedEx service to deliver packages to a PO address, you might want to try using a street address.
USPS has a Street Addressing program, which allows PO Box customers to use the post office’s street address for deliveries. You only have to specify your PO number, so the employees will know where to put the package.
This option works for other private carriers like Amazon, UPS, and DHL.
An Alternative to PO Boxes: Use a Virtual Mailbox
PO boxes have a lot of restrictions, given they’re federal property. If the rules seem too strict, you can try a virtual mailbox.
What’s a Virtual Mailbox?
Many services provide a mailbox that works similarly to PO boxes. You get an exclusive box only you can access inside a facility.
The difference is a virtual mailbox comes with a street-style address.
You simply use the office’s street address so that you can use it for private delivery services.
It’s best for an ecommerce business that wants to keep its home address separate. Individuals who want to keep their addresses private can also get one.
Some mailbox providers examples are:
PO Box Pros and Cons
It’s federally provided and government-backed.
It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to receive and send packages.
It uses a reliable network that lets you deliver to any PO box number within the country.
It doesn’t require any apps, internet, or other requirements.
It has limited operating hours and doesn’t operate on weekends.
You must still go to your local PO to send or receive mail.
Only services that work with USPS or USPS itself can send packages to PO addresses.
There’s a maximum weight limit.
If the PO is busy, you must wait to send or receive your packages.
Virtual Mailbox Pros and Cons
You can access virtual mailboxes online.
You’ll get mail management with features like mail scanning, forwarding, and storage.
It sends you notification alerts when you receive a package.
Providers use extra security measures to protect your packages.
The provided customer service makes resolving issues easier.
You need to pay subscription fees for a virtual mailbox.
It requires the internet to check or process unless you go to the provider’s physical location.
There’s a risk of technical issues when trying to access your virtual mailbox.
Like PO boxes, a virtual mailbox has limitations regarding size and types of packages.
Depending on the service, some virtual mailboxes have a steep learning curve.
Does UPS Ship to PO Boxes?
Can you send UPS to a PO Box if you can’t use FedEx?
The short answer is no. UPS is also a private company, so they usually can’t deliver to PO addresses.
However, UPS can deliver to a PO Box using two specific services.
1 – Can UPS Deliver to a PO Box in International Locations?
Yes. The UPS Mail Innovations service partners with domestic and international post offices to deliver postal packages directly to the PO box.
2 – Does UPS Ground Deliver to PO Boxes? Can You Use UPS Overnight to PO Box Addresses?
No to both questions. SurePost is your only choice for UPS delivery to PO box numbers locally.
3 – Does UPS SurePost Deliver to PO Boxes?
Yes. SurePost is the company’s economy shipping solution for non-urgent packages. Like the FedEx SmartPost shipping option, it collaborates with the USPS to make the final delivery.
The delivery time is longer than the standard UPS shipping. It generally takes two to seven days before UPS hands your package to USPS.
4 – Does UPS Deliver to Mailbox Addresses?
Yes. UPS delivers packages and mail to a virtual mailbox.
5 – How Does UPS Deliver to Post Office Locations?
You can try the same workaround I mentioned earlier. Use the USPS Street Addressing service to allow UPS and other private carriers to deliver your packages to your PO box.
By the way, if there’s any delay on FedEx’s end, you will see a FedEx operational delay status.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does FedEx Deliver to Your Door or Mailbox?
The carrier only delivers directly to your door or front porch. It’s illegal for other people and private delivery services to place things inside your mailbox.
Can You Prevent FedEx From Leaving Packages at Your Door?
Include delivery instructions on where you want the driver to leave the package. If you’re not at home, you can use the Delivery Manager app to redirect your package to a retail pickup location or place it on hold.
How Can I Add FedEx Solutions to My WooCommerce Store?
You can add FedEx to your WooCommerce store by adding a shipping method plugin like ELEX EasyPost, which lets you use other shipping couriers.
Can You Drop a FedEx Shipment at the Post Office?
If you accidentally leave a FedEx parcel at the post office, their employees might return it to the sender’s address. They may also wait for a FedEx driver to pick it up.
Can Large Packages Be Delivered to a PO Box?
PO Boxes can receive large packages even if they don’t fit in the box. The post office will store the package securely, then put a notice in your PO box instead. However, shipping services have weight and size limitations.
The Bottom Line
I discussed everything you need to know about FedEx PO Box shipping. I hope you can use the tips and workarounds to deliver packages via the FedEx SmartPost system.
Although you can use services like FedEx Ground Economy or UPS SurePost, you can also send your packages through USPS directly. This eliminates the hassle of finding a loophole or using other services.