Here’s some good news for those with loved ones in the Navy – sending mail/care packages to them is about to get easier!
Last year, November of 2014 to be exact, the U.S. Navy implemented a requirement that all Navy Fleet Post Office (FPO) mailing addresses include a Zip+4 code in order for mail and packages to be delivered to personnel stationed overseas. Unfortunately, the USPS address matching system has had consistent problems providing a +4 match for military addresses.
The problem is that the USPS address matching engine expects a street line constructed like this:
247 North Mail Street NW, Suite 400
The USPS software is very good in parsing the address elements out of a line like this. It knows to expect a primary number (247), perhaps a pre-directional (North), a street name (Main), a type of street (street, avenue, way, circle, etc.), a post-directional (SW) and finally, a suite or apartment indicator.
But the “street address” for an FPO site might be something like this:
COMSAT 45 USS LIBERTY
The USPS address matching engine simply doesn’t know how to parse that. And, unless the address input by the sender is EXACTLY the same as the one the Navy provides the USPS for its database, the shipper will NOT get a +4 match.
Fortunately, the U.S. Navy has addressed this issue and, starting June 1, 2015, will implement the new policy outlined below (click to enlarge):