Different Postal Formats: How To Address International Mail

While it’s a well-known fact that international mail comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, one element that often gets overlooked is the way addresses are written. Some prefer to keep it at a minimum – listing the name of the recipient, their house and street number, then the country (along with hoping for the best that it arrives at its intended destination).

Yet this laissez-faire attitude costs the postal industry millions of pounds each year, as they attempt to decipher badly-written addresses lacking essential information such as postcodes – resulting in repeating their journeys (using up fuel via delivery vans as well as additional manpower), which in turn, costs valuable time and money.

So let’s settle this argument once and for all – how exactly should we address international mail? Let’s look at the differences between posting to the UK, then compare with posting overseas:

Addressing UK mail
Naturally, the more lines the better – as this gives an in-depth description of where your post is going to. Starting with the name on the top line, it should then be followed by their house/flat number (or building name) and their street, county/locality and postcode (which should always be printed in capitals). While some people tend to include counties, this is often deemed unnecessary – so long as the main address details are properly displayed:

Kent Police Postal envelope A5 brown

Line 1 – the recipient’s name
Line 2 – building number/name and street name
Line 3 – county/locality (if needed)
Line 4 – post town
Line 5 – post code (which must be written in capitals).

Depending on the recipient (whether it’s being sent to a personal address or requires delivery to business premises), there may be instances where other elements will be featured in the address – such as department name, dependent street (eg a business park) or even a PO Box number. So long as these are clearly written, then there should be no problems in your post making a timely delivery to its designated recipient.

Addressing international mail
Following the same pattern as posting to the UK, the main difference here is that the country is of the utmost importance – and should feature on the very last line of the address (to be written in capital letters). Additionally, it’s a good idea to write your address on the back of your post – just in case it encounters any delivery problems and needs to be sent back to you. The format should roughly read as follows:

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Line 1 – the recipient’s name
Line 2 – building number/name and street name
Line 3 – place name
Line 4 – province/state name and post code (if needed)
Line 5 – country name (which must be written in capitals).

By taking the time to make sure the address is fully written in a legible manner, this increases its chances of arriving at its recipient’s destination quickly and safely. While writing in lower case and capitalising the first letter of each word is the norm when addressing mail, many prefer to write in upper case – as this is often easier to read (thanks to the clear separation of the characters). Remember to keep the format simple and to avoid any unnecessary punctuation, and while addresses will vary in terms of detailing, sticking to a similar structure will ensure your post is successfully delivered to your addressee.

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Long Distance Relationships: 6 Romantic Parcel Suggestions

A heart shaped brown paper parcel with a label saying With Love.

We’ve all heard the mantra of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but we all know that sending and receiving gifts is a sure-fire way of putting the spark back into any long-distance relationship (excuse the pun). There’s nothing better after weeks or months apart only to be greeted with a present from your loved one, and with the help of our logistics lovebirds, we’ve put together a guide to the best packages you could send to your other half!

So let’s bring a new meaning to love letters, and show your significant other that sending romantic packages is ‘part and parcel’ of any
long-distance relationship:

1. Traditional telegrams
While you’ve sent many a letter and bouquet, why not be old-fashioned at heart – with the use of a telegram? You can recreate your own using a variety of templates available online, and the element of surprise is bound to put a smile on your partner’s face. Make history with this historic form of communication today!

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2. Message in a bottle
OK, so you’ve tried telegrams – now try making your own message in a bottle! Simple to make, all that’s required is a water bottle (or glass bottle, but be sure to package carefully!) then write a letter and place into the bottle. Now that’s a memento worth mailing!

3. Mix tape/USB
Remember the days of the mix tape? Why not compile a playlist of your favourite love songs for your partner to keep them company when they next visit you? Ideal for long flights and drives as well as a soundtrack for when you’re together in person, the songs will serve as a romantic reminder of your relationship.

4. Baked treats
There’s nothing sweeter than getting sweet treats in the post – right? Prepare a selection of heart-shaped cakes or passion fruit puddings to enamour your other half. For a twist, why not make your own fortune cookies? Write a personalised fortune that is significant for the both of you – and who knows? It might just come true!

(Important note: always check the list of prohibited items just to be on the safe side)

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5. Sentimental scrapbook
With all the flight tickets and coffee receipts you’ve collected as part of your souvenirs from your romantic travels, put them to good use by collating them into a scrapbook both you and your loved one can share. You could also glue cinema ticket stubs or menus from the times you’ve spent together – the world’s your “scrapbook”!

6. ‘Documenting’ your love
All those letters you’ve sent to one another, have you stored them somewhere safe? How about the thousands of emails you and your partner have exchanged? Well here’s a great way of ensuring they’re in one easy to access place – by turning them into a book! There’s loads of companies who will take your documentation (both online and offline) and have them printed into a book – assembling them into chronological order so you can keep a timeframe of your relationship. Plus it makes for great reading material the next time you embark on your long-distance reunion!

What other heartfelt ways can you think of that would make a thoughtful parcel? Let’s see what long-distance care package ideas you have in mind – and whether they’re worth being “signed, sealed and delivered” to our loved ones!

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National Holidays: When To Time Your Post Around Country-Specific Dates

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You’ve got priority post to mail out, and after labelling and packaging your parcel accordingly, you’ve left yourself a sufficient amount of time to ship it before you miss that all-important deadline. Except there’s just one tiny detail you forgot to take into account – in that the country you’re sending your mail to will be celebrating a public holiday; resulting in your shipment being significantly delayed.

If only you had a resource that could inform you of any upcoming international events concerning key countries – well now there is, thanks to Parcel2Go! Our trusted team has put together a guide letting you know which countries celebrate key dates relevant to their location, giving you plenty of notice as to when you send your international mail – you’re welcome!

August

4th Scotland: August Bank Holiday

4th Ireland: August Bank Holiday

4th Barbados: Kadooment Day

9th Singapore: National Day

11th and 12th Thailand: The Queen’s Birthday holiday and the Queen’s Birthday

14th Pakistan: Independence Day

25th United Kingdom: August Bank Holiday

30th Peru: Santa Rosa de Lima

31st Malaysia: National Day

September

1st USA: Labour Day

2nd Vietnam: Independence Day

7th Brazil: Independence Day

15th Catalonia, Spain: National Day of Catalonia

16th Malaysia: Malaysia Day

16th Mexico: Independence Day

18th Chile: National Day

25th and 26th Israel: Rosh Hashana

October

1st to 7th China: National Day

8th Croatia: Independence Day

10th Taiwan: National Day

13th USA: Columbus Day (except for the following states: AK, AR, CA, FL, HI, NV, OR, SD, TX, WA)

13th Canada: Thanksgiving Day

23rd Hungary: Republic Day

27th New Zealand: Labour Day

28th Greece: Ochi Day

29th Turkey: Republic Day

November

3rd Colombia: All Saints’ Day

3rd Russia: Bank Holiday

11th Poland: Independence Day

11th USA: Veterans Day

17th Mexico: Day off for Revolution Day Memorial

18th Latvia: Independence Day

24th Argentina: Day of National Sovereignty

27th USA: Thanksgiving Day

December

1st Scotland: St Andrew’s Day

1st Romania: Union Day

2nd and 3rd United Arab Emirates: UAE National Day

5th Thailand: H.M. King’s Birthday

12th Kenya: Jamhuri

16th South Africa: Day of Reconciliation

17th Kazakhstan: Independence Day

17th Israel: Chanukah

23rd Japan: Emperor’s Birthday

Are there any other international events we should be observing that you feel should be included in this list? Please share your suggestions so we make sure our comprehensive guide has everything you need to avoid any potential postal palavers!

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Want To Know When The Next Postal Strike Is? Ask The Experts At Parcel2Go!

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Whether it’s happening at schools in a certain locality or concerning taxi drivers in a particular region, regardless of location, it affects us all – with postal strikes being no exception. Despite society being reliant on digital forms of communications, when it comes to parcel delivery, there’s no better medium than courier services: with many retailers entrusting postal workers to ensure consignments are delivered in a timely and safely manner to their customers.

Yet what happens when postal employees go on strike? For businesses dependent on their goods being distributed across the globe, not only can a postal strike impact on a company’s sales – it also affects their reputation. Resulting in severe backlogs which in turn, creates huge delays for any items using priority shipping, can leave customers doubting the reliability of the retailer. However, despite this being an issue with the postal sector, the majority of the customers will be quick to point the blame at the retailer as more often than not, are not given the contact details of the delivery representative – and will therefore immediately contact the retailer as the first port of call.

The Good, The Bad, And The Backlog

While it’s been a considerable time since a postal strike has taken place (with postal workers going on strike back in 2009), the repercussions can have a long-lasting effect – damaging the reputations of many independent retailers. One such instance saw a backlog of around 30 to 60 million letters in the UK, while in the second wave, saw a backlog of more than 50 million.

As a result, businesses suffered huge losses, orders were unfulfilled, staff went unpaid – and many employees let go. However, many online retailers have learnt from this experience – with several companies informing customers that in the event of a strike, their deliveries will be directed to other carriers.

Despite postal strikes being negative instances, courier companies have identified these situations as opportunities – with postal economist, David Stubbs, agreeing that plenty has changed in the delivery sector since 2009. For example, rival businesses have proved valuable and reliable resources compared to leading household names.

Delivery

Keeping Up-To-Date With Postal Strikes

So how can businesses and customers alike keep in the loop regarding any upcoming postal strikes? Thankfully you have the team at Parcel2Go – letting you know if there is a postal strike affecting any areas of the UK. With our website updated on a daily basis with relevant news and information, we’ll inform you whether the postal strike affects your delivery or collection, as well as when the strike is expected to be over.

While it’s not always possible to predict when and where a postal strike is due to take place, we’ll do our best to at least help you plan your consignments with ease – and inform any third parties whether or not their deliveries will be affected.

Planned Postal Strikes

There are currently no planned postal strikes.

We hope our online resource helps with your future deliveries – and for a reliable courier company you can count on, speak to Parcel2Go today.

 

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An A-Z Guide Of Worldwide Postal Codes

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Sending parcels is a doddle – right? You’ve got your packaging sorted, now all you need is your postal address: except you’re sending your mail overseas, and this international postal code you’re expected to use is laid out in a completely different postal system to what you’re used to. For example – what the heck is a zip code?!

Thankfully Parcel2Go is here to the rescue: compiling the globe’s most posted destinations in one easy-to-read guide. Get ready for a round-the-world trip in understanding postal codes, and become an expert in international shipping – and remember to ALWAYS write the name of the country at the bottom of each address!

  • Australia.

Comprising of six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – house/building number, street name

Third line – town name

Fourth line – city

Fifth line – territory abbreviation (ie Queensland would read as QLD)

Last line – four digit postcode

  • Brazil.

Again comprising of six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – street name, sector, quadra, block and/or floor,

Third line – town/district

Fourth line - city

Fifth line – city/state abbreviation (ie São Paulo would read as SP)

Last line – eight digit postcode

  • Canada.

Consisting of five lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – house/building number and street name

Third line – municipality (town/city)

Fourth line – province/territory abbreviation (ie Ontario would read as ON)

Fifth line – postcode (consisting of three digits and three letters)

  • China.

Usually written with seven lines, the layout should look like this:

First line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – locality,

Fifth line – city/district,

Sixth line – province/territory,

Last line – six digit postcode

france

  • Europe.

Comprising of three lines, the format be as follows:

Top line – name,

Middle line – street name, house number,

Last line – state/territory abbreviation

When posting to France, the addressee’s surname should be written in capital letters

When posting to Germany, ensure the postcode features five digits

When posting to Republic of Ireland, remember that only Dublin has postcodes

When posting to Spain, the province should be featured in brackets after the town

  • India.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – locality,

Fifth line – city

Last line – six digit postcode

  • Israel.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

First line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line - street name,

Fourth line – locality and/or city

Last line – five digit postcode

Any post to localities within the Palestinian Authority should display the full address, with the words ‘via Israel’ added at the bottom of the address

  • Japan.

The address is typically written with seven lines:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line - street name,

Fourth line - locality

Fifth line – city,

Sixth line – province/territory

Last line – seven digit postcode

  • New Zealand.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – building name/house number and street name,

Third line – suburb,

Fourth line – town,

Fifth line – city,

Last line – four digit postcode

  • Nigeria.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – zone/locality,

Fifth line – state,

Sixth line – NIGERIA (must be written in capital letters – and it’s important to note that there are no post/zip codes in Nigeria)

pakistanpost

  • Pakistan.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number

Third line – block/plot/street name

Fourth line – sector/locality

Fifth line – city

Last line – five digit postcode

  • Russia.

The layout of Russian addresses is more detailed, written with six lines:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – building name/number, street name,

Third line – city/town/village,

Fourth line – district,

Fifth line – territory/region/republic,

Last line – six digit postcode

  • United States of America.

Addressing correspondence to the States comprises seven lines:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – house number/building name,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – apartment/suite number

Fifth line - city

Sixth line – state

Last line – five digit post/zip code

Though it can be confusing deciphering different postal codes, with a bit of practice, you’ll be a proficient penpal in no time!

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Unofficial Observance Dates: Sending Mail That Celebrates Unique Holidays

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We all have a pretty good knowledge of national holidays (storing this useful information mainly so we can look forward to longer weekends) – but what about key dates that don’t receive the same official recognition? From Pi Day to Star Wars Day, there are plenty of dates in the calendar that celebrate cult status – and while these days may go unnoticed as official events, there are many groups the world over dedicated to commemorating unofficial observances.

So if there’s a certain event worth posting about, package up a parcel for the following dates:

January

National Hug Day (21st). Thought up by Rev. Kevin Zaborney, this day looks to encourage everyone to hug their nearest and dearest more often – as well as random strangers. Just make sure you always ask for their permission first – or you could always post a ‘free hug’ coupon!

 

February

Random Acts of Kindness Day (17th). We’re all a caring lot, but why not show it through the medium of a parcel? Get kind – get creative!

 

March

Pi Day (4th). A yearly US celebration observing the mathematical constant, π, 3.14 (following the month date format practised in the States). Would you like some pie to go with your π?

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April

Record Store Day (17th/18th/19th). With the rise of digital downloads, go back to basics by posting a much-loved record to someone who would appreciate your taste in music.

 

May

Star Wars Day (4th). May the fourth be with you – parcel send you shall! If Yoda sent packages, that is.

 

June

Bloomsday (16th). A celebration of the work of Irish writer, James Joyce, the first mention of Bloomsday was found in a letter by Joyce to Miss Weaver in 27 June 1924. Why not keep up the tradition by posting a letter of your own?

 

July

Pandemonium Day (14th). Who says your post has to make sense? Why not surprise a loved one by sending a collection of random items? It’s Pandemonium Day – you’re allowed to go crazy!

 

August

Friendship Day (3rd). It’s easy to keep in touch with friends digitally, but nothing shows sentiment more than taking the time to write them a letter. Reach for that pen and paper now!

 

September

International Talk Like A Pirate Day (19th). Shiver me timbers, it’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Get your friends from far and wide to join in the debauchery, and spread the message with this themed day.

 

October

World Post Day (9th). Founded in Bern, Switzerland, courier companies all over the world use this day to promote their services – so why not help them out by posting to your global companions?

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November

World Hello Day (21st). An annual global event, this day is used as an opportunity to promote world peace – which starts off with a simple greeting, inspiring political leaders to use communication as opposed to force in order to resolve conflicts.

 

December

Thank You Note Day (26th). Recognised as the ideal time to thank others the day after exchanging gifts, show your gratitude personally – by sending a thank you note. Then wait for your thank you notes to flood in!

 

Have we missed any important unofficial observances? Please let us know your recommendations so we can add to our postal calendar!

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One In 10 eBay Consumer Complaints Are Scam-Related, Says Citizens Advice

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One in six complaints regarding services or products listed on Gumtree – as well as one in 10 concerning eBay sales – are either a scam or a possible scam, revealed research from Citizens Advice.

“These sites are an important service for buyers and sellers, but con artists are profiting from them too,” explained Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy. “Scammers are swindling people out of hundreds or thousands of pounds by posting false products and services online.”

According to data collated by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, auction scams and online retail were the most common activities of fraud reported in 2013 – costing UK shoppers a staggering £63.6 million.

Examining 649 problem instances on Gumtree and 3,711 cases on eBay, one particular scam that was frequently reported involved motorists purchasing second-hand vehicles – only to find a logbook loan attached; resulting in the lender taking the car as a result of the previous owner failing to keep up with repayments.

Another popular complaint saw people purchasing items they never receive – but it appears that businesses are also falling victims to scams, after being contacted by companies promising them cheap advertising only for it to be a con.

Ms Guy added: “It’s time for online marketplaces to up their game and do more to protect their customers from dodgy dealings by strongly policing their websites, carrying out spot checks and immediately removing any risky ads.”

Citizens Advice has called for a change in legislation to prevent logbook lenders from taking away vehicles if they are not the original borrower.

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eBay And Argos Extend Joint Click And Collect Venture

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Argos has extended its click and collect partnership with eBay to all business sellers – enabling customers to collect products from “a much wider range of eBay merchants” direct from Argos shops.

eBay announced: “Following a successful operational trial, agreement has been reached for the extension of the collection service in order to build and test the proposition on a commercial basis. This extension will enable shoppers to pick up millions of products sold by eligible business sellers from over 650 Argos stores throughout Great Britain”.

When the joint venture first went live in September, customers were able to collect products from 50 eBay merchants across 150 Argos stores. Speaking about the new service, Home Retail group chief executive John Walden (who was Argos managing director during the time of the launch), spoke of the potential partnership opportunities that could arise as a result of this venture.

Walden said: “We think the unique capability that Argos has is distribution and store collection may become more and more relevant. There might be a model where Argos could provide these unique capabilities to others, traditional and online in the marketplace and that’s the purpose of the trial.

“Rather than stores being a disadvantage, we believe our small, efficient stores are a strategic advantage.”

eBay will be releasing further details to eligible sellers in the next couple of months, but hope that by the end of the year an estimated 65,000 eBay sellers will offer products for collection at Argos – increasing to 80,000 in 2015.

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One In Three UK Online Businesses Fail To Offer Customers Next Day Delivery

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One in three (36 per cent) of the nation’s online retailers do not offer their customers the option of next day delivery despite 46 per cent of UK consumers ranking this as their preferred choice, according to recent findings.

A study – conducted by Ampersand Commerce – into the various delivery solutions offered by the UK’s top 100 online retailers in May 2014 recommended that companies should focus their efforts into prioritising next day delivery as opposed to click and collect. The 46 per cent surveyed in YouGov research said that if they had been offered the choice of click and collect, same day delivery and next day delivery, they would choose the next day delivery service over the other options – with 21 per cent preferring same day, while 18 per cent were happiest with click and collect.

The findings also noted that 44 per cent of UK consumers would not want to pay any extra costs for next day delivery, while 42 per cent said the most they would pay would be £5. Meanwhile, the results showed that 22 per cent of online retailers fail to offer free returns, 60 per cent provide click and collect, 64 per cent offer next day delivery, 11 per cent offer same day delivery while 91 per cent of adults had had packages shipped direct to their home.

Darryl Adie, managing director at Ampersand Commerce, said: “How online retailers optimise their delivery service will become a key differentiator in the next 12 months. Market leaders are already changing the definition of what next day means by offering later and later cut off times. The consumer demand and expectation for same day delivery is coming and online retailers who streamline their next day delivery now will be best placed to compete in that space.”

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Online Shopping and Bargain Business To Overtake Supermarkets By April 2019

Rivals 'reduce Tesco market share'

Sales from discount retailers, convenience shops and online businesses will surpass hypermarkets and supermarkets by April 2019, according to data compiled by global food and consumer goods group, IGD.

The ‘big four’ supermarkets – comprised by Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – will experience a drop in sales by four per cent; from this year’s £73.7bn to £70.8bn over the next five years compared to sales from bargain businesses (such as Lidl and Aldi) who are expected to make double over the same period. IGD has predicted that by 2019, discount shops will enjoy a 10.5 per cent share of the food market.

In addition, online sales will increase by 119 per cent while convenience shop sales will rise by a third.

This is reflected in research collated by customer science organisation, dunnhumby, after the body found that the number of shopping trips people made rose 18 per cent over the past five years as consumers discard the idea of doing one big ‘weekly shop’ and instead choose to make frequent, small basket purchases.

“People are now more willing to shop around at different types of grocery formats, such as convenience stores, discounters or buying online. They have more options available to them than ever before,” explained Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.

“Shoppers now expect grocery retailing to organise itself around their lives rather than building their routines around store opening hours. They expect to buy whatever they want, anytime, anyplace, in the most convenient way to them.”

Denney-Finch said that a “rethink” was needed on how supermarket space is utilised – as well as investing more heavily into the shopping experience, namely through the use of technology.

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