JIS News

Postmaster General, Dr. Blossom O’Meally Nelson has said that the soon-to-be introduced postal code system was “logical and easy” to use.
The postal code system is a method of identifying addresses using alphanumeric characters. The concept is similar to the American zip code.
Dr. Nelson, who is also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Postal Corporation of Jamaica, said while there was a “high level of acceptance” from the general public regarding the use of the code, some persons were confused about the new system.
“It’s perfectly logical,” she said, and observed that based on a pilot project in the Kingston 8 area, “the market seems to be ready” to embrace the change. A roll out of the new system to the rest of the Corporate Area is expected by the end of July, she told JIS News in an interview.
Under the postal code system, persons sending mail to and around the island will identify Jamaica with the letters JM. The use of the letters JM, Dr. O’Meally Nelson explained, would make it easier for international partners in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and Canada to sort letters bound for Jamaica. She pointed out that letters with JA written on them have ended up in Japan or Jamaica in Long Island in the US.
After writing the country code, the sender would then write the letter for the relevant zone followed by the parish code and then the code for the relevant post office.
The island is divided into four zones, Dr. O’Meally Nelson pointed out. Zone A comprises Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine; Zone B has St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland; Zone C takes in St. James, St. Ann, Hanover and Trelawny, while Zone D has Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and Westmoreland.
Additionally, each parish is assigned its own code. For example, the code for Kingston is KN, for St. Catherine it is CE, Portland is PD and St. Mary is MY. The parish codes are determined by the first and last letters of the name of the parish, omitting the Saint in some parishes.
In arriving at the post office code, Dr. O’Meally Nelson pointed out that the post offices in each parish were ordered alphabetically and a number assigned to each one. “The sequence starts with 01 and goes up,” she said.
Citing an example, she explained that the postal code for Allman Town would be JMAKN01, with JM representing Jamaica, A was for the zone, KN for Kingston and 01 represented the specific post office – Allman Town. She added that as part of the transition to the new system, in the case of the example mentioned, persons might still write “Kingston 4” on their envelope if they wished to do so.
She said that the system was developed after careful consideration. “The codes were developed by our industrial engineer in collaboration with our management and done under the supervision of specialists from the United Postal Union,” she noted.
Dr. O’Meally Nelson said the initiative was necessary to bring Jamaica in line with international best practices and to aid in the speedy sorting of mail, both internationally and locally. She pointed to the usefulness of postal codes in effecting electronic (e)-commerce, noting that persons transacting over the Internet were now able to supply the relevant field when asked to state their ZIP codes. “It’s all about international compliance,” she asserted.
As a service to its corporate clients, Dr. O’Meally Nelson said that Postal Corporation could affix the postcodes to the addresses of individuals in their databases for a fee.

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