Mail Tips & Prep

Overnight Shipping

  • Packages must be to the UAA Mailroom by noon to be delivered the next day
  • Overnight shipping is not available for international shipping
  • Overnight shipping cannot be delivered to PO boxes

Flat Rate or Priority Box?

General rule of thumb for deciding whether to use USPS flat rate or priority box:

  • Shipping to AK Zip Codes 998/999: 
    • Treat as if mailing to Lower 48
  • Shipping to AK Zip Codes 995/996/997:
    • Up to 5 lbs: Use priority
    • Over 5 lbs: Use flat rate


Bulk Mail Services

For mailings over 200 pieces, send bulk mail through the Copy & Print Center for significant savings. Their team automates nearly every aspect of mail preparation and is able to personalize mailing with variable-data capabilities, eliminating duplicates and cleaning up incomplete addresses.


Mail Preparation Guidelines

U.S. Mail

Icon of envelope showing a complete return address in the top left-hand corner.

Use a complete return address on all outgoing mail. 

Icon of envelope showing address parallel to longest side with closing flap on the right-hand side.

Address envelopes so that the destination address is parallel to the longest edge of the envelope. Address large envelopes so that the flap is on the right or leading edge of the envelope. Seal all large envelopes.

 Icon of a stack of envelopes banded together.

For multiple pieces of the same dimension, ensure all mail faces the same direction. Band together multiple pieces within each grouping.

Two icon envelopes: the top one showing the correct way to leave the top right-hand corner clear; the bottom showing the incorrect envelope with marks in the top right-hand corner.

Always leave the upper right-hand corner free of all marks. This is where metered postage is applied.

Two groups of envelope icons: the top showing light-tinted envelope colors that are correct; the bottom showing dark envelopes that are incorrect.

Use light to medium-tint paper so that the meter imprint will be legible. (No red paper, please.)

Icon of envelope with old mail markings on it and a sticker with arrow indicating to cover up the old barcode.

If outgoing material is to have postage applied and bears a permit indicia or other mark, it must be covered with a white gummed label in order for the metered postage to show clearly.

Icon of a box with "priority" written on it.

Designate the desired class of service when mailing large envelopes or parcels (Priority ,Parcel Post, First Class, etc.) If a class of service is not designated, we will assume the mail piece is to be sent First Class. 

Icons of three bundles of envelopes with a sticky note on each that marks it as a different class for service.

Separate outgoing mail that requires special services, such as Certified, Insured, or Express Mail and clearly indicate what special service is required in a way that will remain intact during transit. (Sticky notes should be taped on.)


International Mail

International Express Mail and Global Priority Mail are services available to most countries for expedited international mailings. Cost is determined by specific weight and country of destination.

Image of customs mailing slip.

A completed customs form (listing everything in the package) is required.

Icon of items going into a box with a question mark.

Check what can be mailed to the country of destination (some countries have restrictions).

Two icons of a calendar, one with the date January 14 with an arrow pointing to the other with the date January 15.

All international packages go out the next business day.

Icon of box with address label that has country on bottom line in caps.

When addressing international mail, it's critical that the name of the country be written in English, in full (no abbreviations) on the bottom address line. An address in a foreign language is permissible provided the name of the city, province, and country are also indicated in English.

Shape of Africa, accompanied by a phone number and PO Box address in Ethiopia.

Mailing to Africa requires a PO box and a phone number for the recipient.

Icons of two envelopes: one, packaged correctly, showing tape across the seams; the other packaging incorrectly with staples along the flap.

All mail leaving the U.S. must be totally sealed on all sides. (No staples, tabs, etc.) Parcels, also, must have no open seams.

 Open envelope icon with written letter within it.

Items of mail containing personal handwritten or typewritten correspondence must be sent as letters or letter packages.
(Letter packages require a custom declaration.)