If you've attempted to process orders to United States territories, you’re probably asking, “Why do U.S. territories appear on the country drop-down menu for international shipments? Shouldn’t they be processed as domestic shipments?”


It’s a good question. The answer is: Yes, they will be processed as domestic shipments. (However, getting there is a little less simple.)


At ShipWorks, we’re aware that United States territories (like American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) aren’t international destinations.


Because we connect with different shipping providers (FedEx, UPS, and USPS Endicia, USPS Express 1, and USPS Stamps.com), we have to account for how each shipping provider formats addresses for United States territories.

 

USPS Endicia, Express1 and Stamps.com

The following directions are intended if you’re using USPS Endicia, Express1, or Stamps.com to process a shipment delivered to the following territories:


Territory Abbreviation
American Samoa AS
Guam GU
Marshall Islands* MH
Northern Mariana Islands MP
Palau* PW
Puerto Rico PR
Virgin Islands - US VI

Example 1.1: Table of U.S. territories and other countries the United States Postal Service delivers to and their abbreviations.   


*Not United States territories, but countries that are still serviced by the United States Postal Service. 


You can also navigate to the USPS address verification tool online for suggestions from the United States post office on how to format your shipment’s address.


For USPS shipments, you will need to process using a domestic format, selecting “United States” from the country drop-down menu. 


A correct address format example for USPS shipments is:


[Name]

[Street Address]

[City]

[Territory abbreviation]

[Zip Code]

[United States]




Using this format, we can see a successfully processed USPS shipment below.


Correct:

Example 3.3: A successfully processed USPS shipment to Puerto Rico. 

  

An incorrect format would select “Puerto Rico” from the country drop-down menu. This will result in receiving an error that says, “Unrecognized country: PR”. 

Example 3.4: Selecting Puerto Rico from the country drop-down menu for USPS shipments (only) will prompt an error. 


FedEx and UPS

For FedEx and UPS shipments, you will need to process using an international format, selecting the territory from the drop-down menu.


A correct address format example for FedEx/UPS shipments is:


[Name]

[Street Address]

[City]

[Territory abbreviation]

[Zip Code]

[Territory]

 

Using this format, we can see a successfully processed shipment (Example 3.6).


Correct:


Example 3.6: Selecting Puerto Rico from the country drop-down menu is the correct way to format a FedEx or UPS shipment. 


Using FedEx/UPS to process these shipments as “domestic” (selecting United States from the drop-down menu) will prompt an error. 


Incorrect: 

Example 3.7: Selecting United States from the country drop-down menu will prompt an error.   


The error message for FedEx will read:

FedEx returned the following error: Destination country is not Thermal Air WayBill enabled. 

Example 3.8: An example of the FedEx error message you will receive with incorrect address formatting.   


The error message for UPS will read:

Invalid UPS Ship To postal code. 

Example 3.9: An example of the UPS error message you will receive with incorrect address formatting.   


To troubleshoot these errors messages:

1. Follow the correct address format above, and select the U.S. territory from the country drop-down menu.