Do you want to know if you can ship packages to PO boxes via UPS? I’ve got the answer for you.
Sometimes, UPS is the only service (or the most reasonable one) that can deliver to your area. What if you want your package delivered to your PO box?
Does UPS deliver to PO boxes?
The short answer is no, but there’s a reason for that. However, you can use specific UPS services and other ways to work around it.
I’ll also discuss what happens if you try to ship UPS to a PO box and if you can use other carriers.
Let’s start with learning more about PO boxes.
Table of Contents
What Is a PO Box?
A PO box is an alternative to your home mailbox. It’s a lockable box within post offices.
The federal government owns your PO boxes and aims to provide an easier, faster, more convenient, and more secure way to receive mail.
Unlike a private mailbox, you can only receive packages at your PO box through official United States Postal Service (USPS)-partnered services.
How Do PO Boxes Work?
A PO box comes with a unique number. When you rent one, the post office will provide a box only you can access.
You can use the PO box number as an alternative to your home address. You can use it for business or personal matters. Either way, your address remains private.
You’ll then receive mail and packages in your PO box.
Does UPS Deliver to PO Boxes?
The short and direct answer is no. Regular UPS services don’t deliver packages or parcels to PO box addresses.
UPS delivers only to a real, valid, and verified physical address.
However, you may use their other shipping services. I’ll talk more about this later.
Why Can’t You Ship UPS Packages to a PO Box Address?
Post offices don’t allow other couriers to deliver packages to your PO box number. PO boxes are federal properties, and UPS is a private organization.
The USPS system is the only authorized carrier to touch every residential address, including PO boxes.
What Happens If You Try To Ship to A PO Box via UPS?
When UPS first reads a PO box address on the shipping label, they’ll refuse to deliver the package. They’ll call the recipient’s telephone number and ask for a physical street address.
While this is the best-case scenario, you’ll still have to pay surcharges for rerouting the delivery.
Sometimes, they’ll hold the package, and you’ll have to pick it up at your local UPS.
Can Other Carriers Ship to Your PO Box?
No. Other carriers won’t also deliver directly to PO boxes using their standard services.
However, UPS and some carriers have delivery methods in partnership with USPS.
Some examples are FedEx SmartPost and UPS SmartPost—these services partner with USPS to have your mail and packages delivered to a PO box.
How To Use UPS Delivery to PO Box Locations
Can you send UPS to a PO Box?
Yes, if you use specific services.
Its regular shipping options can’t, but UPS can still ship to your post office address through UPS Mail Innovations and UPS SurePost.
However, these two services also have limitations. Let’s take a deeper look at each of them below.
UPS Mail Innovation Service
UPS Mail Innovations is a shipping service that provides pick-up, processing, and interim transportation services.
Here’s where you can use the UPS Mail Innovations service.
PO Box Addresses
Army Post Office (APO)
Fleet Post Office (FPO)
Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)
Note: if you plan to have a package delivered to APO, FPO, and DPO PO boxes, you might need a CN22 customs form.
How does UPS ship to PO boxes in international locations?
Its Mail Innovation service partners with domestic and international postal services. These deliver to a PO box directly.
SurePost is the company’s economy solution for non-urgent and low-value packages.
How does UPS SurePost deliver to PO boxes?
UPS only handles the pick-up. It collaborates with USPS to make the final delivery, allowing you to deliver to a PO box.
Here’s how the SurePost process goes.
Bring your package to UPS.
Request for the SurePost service.
Give the recipient’s PO box address.
Let SurePost hand your package to USPS for the final delivery.
Other Ways You Can Try To Ship to PO Boxes Using UPS
If you don’t want to use Mail Innovation or SurePost, you can try these two workarounds.
1 – Deliver to PO Boxes with USPS Street Address.
Can UPS deliver to a PO box with a street address?
USPS makes this possible with its PO Box Service Street Addressing. The program lets you link your physical street address to your PO box number.
You can use the street-style address when online shopping and the merchants don’t accept PO boxes. You can also use it for couriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Here’s what a PO box address looks like compared to verifiable street addresses.
PO box format
556 Honeycomb Rd
Po Box 1234
Street address format
552 Main St
Atlanta GA 30301
This is an example of an address format connected to your PO box.
According to USPS, customers who sign the Customer Agreement don’t need to submit a Change of Address (COA) form. After registering, using both address formats route your packages to PO boxes directly.
2 – Ask Your Local Post Office if You Can Use Their Address.
Does UPS deliver to post office addresses?
You’ll have to ask for permission from a postmaster, but you might be able to ask the post office where you have a PO box to accept UPS packages.
There’s no guarantee they’ll say yes. If they do, you can use their street address for deliveries.
A postal employee will accept the UPS package on your behalf and put it in your box. Make sure to include your PO box number.
They might agree to one-time or occasional deliveries, but chances are slim they’ll always be happy to do this. In that case, you’ll have to use the other methods I mentioned.
3 – Rent a UPS Mailbox.
Did you know you have an alternative to a PO box?
If you don’t have a mailbox or want a different one for privacy’s sake, UPS lets you rent one in any of their physical stores.
You can also rent a UPS box for your business. This allows you to have returns, letters, or packages shipped to separate mailing addresses from your home address.
Unlike a PO box, a UPS Mailbox has a real, physical address. It can receive mail and parcels from all shipping carriers, including USPS and FedEx.
Tips To Avoid PO Box Delivery Issues
Follow these tips to ensure you don’t run into PO box delivery issues.
Contact Postal Managers.
Before you use FedEx SmartPost or UPS SurePost, contact your post office and ask the manager if they accept the delivery method. If not, try asking what other services they accept.
Use a Street-Style Address.
Most private delivery couriers won’t deliver to your PO box since it’s federal property. However, you can change your PO box to a street-style address to enable USPS deliveries.
Know Mailing Regulations.
Even if you find a service that delivers to your PO box, never send restricted or illegal items. Your PO box is federal property, so your packages must adhere to strict legal compliance.
What If UPS Holds My Package?
If UPS holds your package, the company usually tells customers why.
However, your packages might get stuck sometimes, especially for international purchases.
You should receive a notification. If you don’t, contact UPS and ask for any updates to your package.
Sometimes, the expected delivery time may change without notification, as well. Always keep an eye on your tracking information to see potential issues right away.
How Can I Send a UPS Package to Work, Family, or Friends Without a PO Box?
You don’t need to send a package to a friend, workmate, or family through a PO box. You can send your package directly to their addresses using any courier.
Here’s the usual process of shipping through UPS.
1 – Prepare Your Package.
Ensure you pack your items properly. If they’re breakable, place protective wrapping around them.
2 – Create a Shipping Label.
Use the UPS website or online tools to create a shipping label. Fill out the delivery details, ensuring it has a valid phone number and the correct address.
Settle the payment to get a shipping label for your package.
If you don’t want to create a shipping label, you can go to your nearest UPS facility to have them make the label for you.
3 – Ship Your Package or Arrange for Pick-Up.
You can drop off your package at any UPS location. Make sure to bring your ID and other verification documents.
You’ll have to pay an additional fee for pick-ups from your home.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Can You Use UPS Overnight to PO Box?
UPS Overnight doesn’t deliver to PO boxes, although you can use UPS SurePost and Mail Innovations.
Does UPS Ground Deliver to PO Boxes?
UPS Ground Deliver doesn’t accept PO box addresses, as well.
Does UPS Deliver to Mailbox?
Yes. UPS can deliver to a privately-owned mailbox. These include rented UPS mailboxes and exclude federally-owned PO boxes.
How Does UPS Ship to International PO Boxes?
UPS has a Mail Innovations service, which partners with international postal services. These handle the final-mile delivery to post offices.
Why Does UPS Deliver to My PO Instead of My House?
If you’ve registered your street address to your PO box, you’ll receive your packages in your PO box.
Can I Get International Mail and Packages at My PO Box?
Yes, as long as it’s through USPS. Otherwise, you must use a street-style address or specific courier services.
How Do I Know When I Receive a PO Box Delivery?
Sign up for the USPS Informed Delivery service. It provides notifications by 10 AM if you have something in your PO box.
Can Large Packages Be Delivered to a PO Box?
The maximum size for PO box mailpieces is 108 inches in length and girth. USPS retail ground pieces can measure up to 130 inches in length and girth. The package should only weigh a maximum of 70 pounds.
The Bottom Line
I hope this article helps you deliver to a PO box using UPS. Before you try any method, contact your local post office to ask if they can receive your packages.
You also have to ensure the size and weight of your packages don’t exceed the maximum limitations.
If you scheduled a pick-up with UPS, you’ll need to create and print your shipping label to save time and money.