What is a postal code?
The postal code, often referred to as a postcode or ZIP code, is the fundamental, essential element of a postal address. It is a unique identifier that unambiguously identifies an addressee’s location and assists in the transmission, sorting and delivery of mail items. A postal code usually consists of a sequence of letters and numbers, or numbers only, and is appended to the end of an address.
Why does Trinidad and Tobago need a Postal Code System and a Standard Address System?
Despite the relatively small size of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), not everyone is aware of the location of towns, communities and villages. In many instances, directions depend on ‘word of mouth’ and the use of landmarks. There is a dependence on casual locational systems that is highly unreliable when used to locate an address. Notably, because of increases in population and a surge in housing developments and industrialisation in areas of the country previously uninhabited, these casual locational systems are no longer functional.
Who benefits from a postal code system, and how do they benefit?
Everyone stands to benefit greatly from the implementation of a Postal Code and Standard Address System. These include individuals, as well as the private and public sectors.
The postal services (e.g. TTPost, FEDEX, DHL) will benefit in the following ways:
• Improved efficiency and accuracy of locating addresses and improved mail delivery.
• Optimisation of resource allocation such as delivery personnel and vehicles.
• Saving on time and operating costs.
• Reduction in returned, undelivered and misdirected mail.
• Potential for the automation of mail sorting procedures.
• Creation of postal code products such as postal code and address databases.
The private sector (Insurance companies, financial institutions and businesses that offer delivery e.g. Courts, KFC, etc.) will benefit from a postal code system through:
• Improved product delivery and location of addresses, which would allow businesses to effectively locate and reach their customers (e.g. marketing agencies).
• Promotion of e-commerce through the facilitation of online transactions and internet purchasing.
• Efficient address location, particularly beneficial to service providers.
• Increased competitiveness on the global market via efficient address location (e.g. in response to increased internet purchasing).
The public services (e.g. Inland Revenue, TSTT, WASA, T&TEC, EBC, Fire and Police Services) will benefit in the following ways:
• Improved billing and customer service.
• Improved management of epidemics, internal migration and primary health care.
• Improved response time of emergency vehicles through quicker location of distressed callers.
Premises with a large amount of mail such as government offices, shopping malls and educational facilities, gated communities and high-rise buildings will all be assigned their own postal code as it is expected that they will undertake some measure of internal sorting of mail items.
How does a postal code work?
Each segment of the postal code, when read from left to right, provides step-by-step information regarding the destination of the mail item. The postal code narrows down the item’s destination to a small geographic
Description of Postal Code Segments
POSTAL CODE: 120110
12 01 10
The first two digits (12) point to the Postal District and they identify the main TTPost delivery office which will process the mail. In this case, 12 would go to the Diego Martin delivery office. The second two digits (01) point to an area within the postal district called the Delivery Loop. They tell the delivery office which postal route will deliver the mail item. In this case, it is Route number 01 in the Diego Martin postal district. The last two digits (01) point to either a zone or building within the delivery loop. They identify the geographic location of a group of addresses or the address of large institutions.
Why do I need to use the postal code?
Using the postal code on mail items means that the majority of mail can go through automated sorting machines, allowing it to be sorted quickly and accurately. If mail does not have a postal code or has an incorrect/incomplete postal code, it will have to be sorted manually, which takes longer and introduces the possibility of the mail item being sent to the wrong destination.
What is a unique large-user postal code and how do I get one?
Some organisations which receive large volumes of mail can have unique postal codes to ensure that mail to an individual address is correctly segregated. If you receive at least 500 items of mail a day, you may be eligible for a unique large-user postal code. Contact us for more information.
How do I find my postal code?
When we are ready, TTPost will provide a Postal Code Finder on our website. Customers can also find out their postal code by contacting any TTPost outlet.
Will my postal code/address ever be changed?
TTPost is committed to a policy of not changing postal codes/addresses wherever possible. Changes will only be made to benefit the service given to the customer, or when it is absolutely necessary, for example:
• A new TTPost delivery office is opened.
• TTPost has exhausted postal codes for new homes and businesses in a developing area.
• Local Government has prompted a change by re-numbering buildings or re-naming roads.
TTPost will always write to you to inform you about any changes that are planned. From the time that we notify you of any changes, our sorting system will recognise both your old and new postal codes. This should give you ample time to use up stocks of stationery and notify your customers, friends and relations of the change (although we recommend that you switch to your new postal code as soon as possible).
I’m moving. Will I keep the same postal code from my previous address?
In general, a postal code identifies a group of addresses. So if your business is moving to a larger premises next door then you may well have the same postal code, but if you are moving from your house to another town, then your postal code will change. The postal code is specific to the address and not to you or your business.
It is the intention of TTPost to provide every house and business in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with a complete postal address that would help them deliver mail quickly, accurately and cost effectively.
For additional information please contact: email@example.com