New ZIP codes will go into effect at seven Army locations in Europe on Feb. 1, according to Installation Management Command-Europe officials.
The change is "part of an initiative to provide customers increased reliability and speed of mail delivery by ensuring each consolidated mail room has a separate ZIP code," according to an IMCOM-Europe news release. Postal customers affected by the change will receive, or already have received, notification letters in their mailboxes, according to IMCOM-Europe.
The plan adds 14 new ZIP codes in Europe, including 10 in Germany — three each in Wiesbaden and Kaiserslautern, and one each in Ansbach-Katterbach, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Garmisch.
Schinnen, Netherlands, gets one new ZIP code, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium, gets three.
The ZIP code expansion will require an unknown number of postal customers to change their addresses. Those affected will be required to complete change-of-address cards.
IMCOM-Europe officials were unable to provide estimates on how many mail customers might be affected in each community.
Exactly how much faster mail deliveries will be after the plan takes effect "is dependent on customers filling out change of address cards," Thomas Saunders, an IMCOM-Europe spokesman, wrote in an e-mail.
The plan is intended to increase the efficiency of the mail-sorting process in Europe. Currently, mail bound for Europe is sorted by ZIP code in the U.S., shipped overseas, sorted at garrison distribution nodes and forwarded on to the proper consolidated mail rooms.
Under the new system, mail bound for each mail room will be sorted in the United States, eliminating the need for further sorting in Europe.
Postal customers with questions are encouraged to contact their consolidated mail room for information, according to IMCOM-Europe.
U.S. Army Europe handed off the Army’s postal operations to IMCOM-Europe in April 2008.