Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) :
Will the Government inform this Council whether the Post Office has plans to introduce the Zone Improvement Plan ("ZIP") Code or similar postal coding systems to Hong Kong; if so, of the details of the plan; if not, the reasons for that?
Postcode systems are used in some countries to enable mail to be sorted with greater speed and efficiency. Typically, such systems involve assigning to different postal districts and locations within them, such as a single building or a flat of a building, numeric or alphanumeric codes to facilitate letter sorting.
Since 1990, the Hong Kong Post Office has been using a mechanised letter sorting system capable of reading typewritten addresses in English. This allows the sorting of letters to delivery routes of individual postmen. Recently, more powerful mechanised letter-sorting equipment has become available in the market. The Postmaster General considers that, if such equipment and a postcode system were in place, wider application of mechanised sorting would be possible, extending to smaller and more specific locations and to the sorting of mail with postcode, irrespective of whether the addresses are hand-written or typewritten, in Chinese or English.
We are currently examining the feasibility, and the costs and benefits, of introducing a postcode system and the letter-sorting equipment needed to support it.
End/Wednesday, January 12, 2000