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Postal code coming soon

By ANDRE BAGOO Thursday, March 29 2012

SOON, six digits will have to be appended at the end of addresses in Trinidad and Tobago.

Though the country has a relatively small size, by the end of the year a new postal code system will be introduced, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPS).

The TT Postal Code System (TT-PCS) was officially launched yesterday at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. Minister of Public Utilities Emmanuel George, hailed the new system as “a milestone that cannot be underestimated” especially given “this country’s size and resources.”

The country will be carved up into 72 postal districts (64 in Trinidad and eight in Tobago). Each segment, when read from left to right, provides step-by-step information regarding the destination of the mail item. Like similar codes already in use in countries like the UK, US and Barbados, the postal code narrows down the item’s destination to a small geographic area.

The first two digits of the six-digit postal code will point to the postal district and identify the main TTPost delivery office which will process the mail.

The second two digits will point to an area within the postal district called the delivery loop, which refers to the postal route taken to deliver mail within the district. The last two digits will point to a zone or building within the delivery loop, identifying the geographic location of a group of addresses or the address of large institutions.

For example, the postal code 12 01 10 will refer to an address in Diego Martin. Citizens will receive a postcard “before the end of the year” informing them of their new postal code, said TTPost general manager of operations, Robert Hernandez.

But while the postal code can offer benefits such as: increased efficiency in delivery of mail and provision of statistical analysis, many are wary of potential job losses that an automated sorting system, which is planned for use once the code is introduced, entails.

General Secretary of the TT Postal Workers Union Reginald Critchlow told Newsday his union is “very mindful” of the consequences of the new system to its membership. “We would lose the need for manpower and we are very concerned about that,” he said minutes after the launch at the Hyatt.

“With an automated sorting system we expect to lose manpower. But also there will be lower demand for delivery personnel if postal districts are merged under the new demarcations to be introduced.” Critchlow, who attended the launch, said the union will write TTPost and the Ministry of Public Utilities on these concerns.

In a feature address, Public Utilities Minister Emmanuel George noted several advantages to be derived from the new system. “This system stems from the need to move away from an outmoded system of mail,” he said. “It is a step forward for this country’s postal sector and will bring immediate and tangible benefits for citizens such as improved mail delivery, a better ability to locate addresses which is good for e-commerce and internet shopping.”

There would be improvements in the delivery of public utility services and better service from State agencies using mail, especially in relation to pensions and the Board of Inland Revenue.

“The change will also assist the healthcare service in terms of finding addresses and will also aid in the management of patients and diseases that might threaten the community,” he said. A postal code will also provide, “a platform for innovation” and allow an analysis of crime, he said.

Noting that people, in the past, simply invented their address, he said, “I hope we will have some standardisation.” Hernandez noted problems with addresses in the country, such as the common occurrence of several light-poles having the same address and the lax use of the word “Corner” on addresses which could refer to at least four different locations.

NEW POSTAL CODE SAMPLE ADDRESS:

Mr James Doe

71 Beechwood Road

Goodside Gardens

Diego Martin, 120110

Trinidad and Tobago

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