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35 per cent of mail handled by the Cayman Islands Postal Service now has a postcode.

Published 13th September 2006, 9:40am

Since the postcode was introduced about a month ago, 35 per cent of all mail handled by the Cayman Islands Postal Service (CIPS) now has a postcode.

Some residents and companies have taken up the challenge enthusiastically, just as Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow predicted. For instance, eCay added the postcode to all of the businesses in its directory. Some banks and utility companies will soon be including the postcode on their bills and statements. During the early days of the postcode campaign, Postal Service staff were fielding between 50 and 75 calls a day for advice on the postcode, including panicky questions from people wondering what they should do with their stationery. Calls have dropped to about 35 a day, as people understand that incorporating the postcode is a gradual process, and most calls now are to confirm some aspect of the new addressing standard.

Some companies have asked advice on addressing because their software has been unable to accommodate some of the fields. Ms Glasgow has advised that "Cayman Islands" does not have to be included in the address for local mail. However, the country name has to be included in the address on all international mail (as it always has) in capital letters, as many countries have machines reading their mail. One company said it was unable to put the name of the island and the postcode on the same line. Ms Glasgow stressed that this is all right - as long as the postcode is there, we will be able to get it to the box renter.

"Remember, the letters and numbers in the postcode refer to one of the islands, one postal facility, and one section of boxes. For instance, if a letter comes in with the code KY1-1008, this tells the sorter that it is intended for Grand Cayman and the box is located at Airport Post Office in the section of boxes numbered from 10967 to 11254," Ms Glasgow said.

CIPS is preparing to move into the second phase of the campaign - weekly district meetings and, due to start 19 September 2006, addressing standard courses for companies and bulk mailers at the Airport Post Office.

"These courses will allow us some face-to-face time with staff members, and this is also the time for any companies that are having problems to address them," Ms Glasgow said.

"I am pleased with the public response, and I would like to thank residents who are using the postcode and those who have sent information to their friends, family and business associates. Evident that the word is spreading - we have had calls from as far as Japan and Australia. Our website has also proven to be a useful tool for both local and international residents," she added.