Unfixable Code

Mar 08, 2017

To the Editor:

We are all fortunate to call the prestigious ZIP code 08008 home. However, a recent letter saying that problems with the delivery of packages would be resolved if LBI residents added a four-digit postal code to our ZIP code (“Lucky LBI Addresses,” 2/22) is wishful thinking.

Over the years I have, and continue to use, the four-digit add-on to the ZIP code, yet FedEx and UPS occasionally deliver my items to other Island municipalities with my same street address.

An investigation of the ZIP code issue, including a conversation with the president and CEO of UPS, disclosed that distribution centers’ computer systems scan the shipper’s address label and create a new address label for sorting and sending packages to the appropriate delivery trucks for loading.

Unfortunately, the systems only scan the first five digits of the ZIP code and print the 08008 city address as Ship Bottom regardless of what address is printed on the shipper’s label. Regular delivery drivers are aware of the ZIP code issue and redirect packages to the correct address while unaware substitute drivers leave the packages at the wrong address.

In addition, many online businesses use a similar computer system with 08008 ZIP code problems by allowing only purchasers’ addresses with Ship Bottom or Long Beach Township. Purchasers with other Island addresses cannot be accommodated as the retailer cannot override the system to correct the inaccurate Ship Bottom address. GPS is also programmed to recognize 08008 as Ship Bottom.

Due to high costs of reprogramming computer systems to include the additional four-digit ZIP code and related increased processing costs, we can expect this problem will never to be resolved.

Peter Trainor

North Beach Haven

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