What is a Postcode?

Postcodes are used all over the world to zone a country for postal purpose. Like Districts and Provinces, Postal zoning has unique characteristics. It tells us where to direct your Mail.

Why do we need a Postcode?

Postal zoning became necessary due to two main reasons; firstly the large volume of mail that we handle day to day. With heightened commercial activity the volume of mail handled by Sri Lanka Post keep increasing each year.

Secondly; if you write an address in a language that the person sorting your mail cannot read or if your handwriting is illegible then he has to seek assistance. This means a delay not only to your mail, but to others waiting to be sorted. There is another problem because there are many places in Sri Lanka with the same name. For instance in the Colombo District there is a place called Kottawa and in the Galle District a place called Kottawa. Though the two names are pronounced differently in the vernacular tongue if written in English can cause confusion. Hitherto the method adopted was to place the province inside a pair of brackets after the place; like Kottawa (SP) or write Kottawa via Galle. But most people forget to include this resulting in delayed delivery or misdirection.

To overcome the time consuming manual mail sorting we introduced the postal zoning numbers better known as Postcodes in 1997. To increase the efficiency of mail sorting at some point in time in the future we will mechanize the sorting process. All mail is laid on a fast moving conveyer belt. Then the mail is passed under an electronic eye what we call an optical reader, which will read the address given on the piece of mail and direct it to the proper tappal bag, after which it is sent to the delivery post office of destination. The process of reading the address by an optical reader is technically known as OCR, meaning Optical Character Recognition. The electronics in the machine will look for a five (5) digit number which is the Postcode included with your address and direct the mail to the correct destination. We have given brief explanation about the Postcode and its purpose.

In 1997 Sri Lanka Post, zone coded the country for postal sorting and delivery purposes. Though it was not strictly enforced it is now becoming mandatory that you provide the postcode in every piece of mail that you post. Failure to do so will delay the delivery or even misdirection with consequential loss.

When you send mail next time don’t forget to include the Postcode.

Every post office in the country displays its Postcode. Do not guess; if you have a doubt please inquire from the nearest post office or sub post office. You can purchase a Directory of Postcodes from any post office on a payment of Rupees Five (Rs. 5/-). If you have difficulty in obtaining the Postcode Directory, please contact us.