Veterans' families upset over hike in shipping costs

July 27, 2018 09:04 PM

The cost to send care packages to military members deployed overseas is increasing.

For years, military families and non-profits could send packages to war zones for a lower cost but that unexpectedly ended this year.

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Military families reached out to News10NBC after seeing the cost nearly double.

For nearly nine years, military mom Dorene Murphy has been sending items from her Victor home to service members overseas. It started when her children were deployed. 

She has now expanded to full units on bases that she has never been to. But when she brought those packages to the post office, she experienced sticker shock, saying the price to send the care package to the military base nearly doubled. 

"The cost went from $120 up to almost $214," Murphy said. 

The United States Postal Service tells News10NBC that to better service our military, virtually all mail and packages sent from the U.S to military bases are now consolidated at one processing hub in Chicago. 

Before this change, there were multiple postal hubs on both the east and west coast.

The prices are now based on weight and proximity to the processing hub. Some customers will pay less, some will pay more. 

"They're trying to put this bill into play that, regardless of how many postal zones it goes through, you pay one flat rate," Murphy said. "Which won't only help the little people like me, and other military moms, but also the non-profits." 

The Blue Star Mothers also send out shipments twice a year spending anywhere from $600 to upwards of $700. 

"I don't want to think of my son, my daughter in law and her mates, going without," Joyce Mader, president of the NY chapter of Blue Star Mothers. "You're fighting a war, you're far from home, you need something. If I have to go out and wash windows for it, I will." 

The USPS does offer flat rate boxes to military bases, ranging from $7 to $17. 

USPS tells News10NBC that it gets no tax dollars for operating expenses, relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. 

USPS released the following statement Friday: 
"To better service our military, virtually all mail and packages sent from the U.S. to international Air/Army/Fleet/ and Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) locations are now consolidated at our Chicago-based processing hub rather than multiple Postal hubs on the east and west coasts.
Certain zone-based shipping prices for outbound military mail are based on weight and proximity of the shipment's origin to our processing hub. With this consolidation, some customers will pay less for shipping and some will pay more based on their distance from the Chicago processing hub. 
The Postal Service continues to offer an excellent value to customers, with other shipping options available as alternatives. For example, our flat rate boxes (FRB) are popular and affordable ways to send packages to the troops. 
The 2018 Priority Mail retail prices include APO/FPO/DPO small FRBs at $7.20, medium FRBs at $13.65 and large FRBs at $17.40. These flat rate prices provide convenient options for sending parcels to military addresses.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations. Changes to improve our operations are being made so we can reduce costs and remain competitive in the marketplace, to be able to continue to serve the public in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible.
The Postal Service is proud to be one of the nation's largest civilian employers of veterans. We thank the men and women serving in the armed forces for all they do and appreciate their dedicated service to our country."


Stephanie Robusto

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