The concept of the US ZIP codes was first introduced and used by the Postal Service of the United States of America.
This system was formerly known as the United States Postal Service (USPS) 1963.
This was borne out of the need to enhance efficiency in the delivery system of mail services through easy collation.
Bringing about the need for the now commonly known ZIP codes.
United States ZIP Codes
The ZIP code of USA is a type of postal code specifically designed and used within the United States.
They are used to enhancing the mailing system of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Shipping firms like Federal Express (FedEx), United Parcel Service (UPS), DHL, and a host of others adopted the system of ZIP codes for collating and sorting packages.
This also extends to the calculation of proximity, time, and cost of shipping submitted packages.
US ZIP Code Functions
1. Delivery Service Functions
Firms that are into collecting and delivery of parcels on behalf of their clients require ZIP codes for the delivery of packages.
This helps them in knowing the destination an item is headed for easily and grouping it approximately.
At a glance at the ZIP code, necessary information can be easily known about the package, especially in terms of shipping rate and duration of delivery.
2. Statistics Functions
It is on record that as of October 2019, there are about 41,702 ZIP codes in the United States.
ZIP codes is effectively used in the gathering of geographical statistics in the United States.
The calculation of boundaries approximately by the U.S. Census Bureau is done using the ZIP codes areas.
To this effect, statistical census data are subsequently given for these areas approximately.
Meanwhile, some of the geographic data given for these areas are the latitude and longitude of the center-point of the ZCTAs, which are about 32,000 ZCTAs.
3. Marketing Functions
The United States ZIP codes are often used as a source of data, especially by organizations interested in strategizing effective marketing campaigns.
This is known as ZIP-code marketing.
Point-of-Sale cashiers can sometimes request consumers for their home ZIP codes.
This data helps determine the purchasing pattern data of consumers and performing businesses.
The interest of consumers and outreach of products/services are also determined this way.
Aside from the fact that ZIP codes give a data report on the purchasing habit or pattern, they can discover the location of new business establishments.
Directories can be used by retailers to assess ZIP codes with the name on credit cards.
This is necessary to get information about target consumers, such as phone numbers and house addresses.
Also, ZIP-coded data is used to assess geographic factors by companies in risk and insurance management.
As well as the banking industry, which is a practice referred to as redlining.
4. Legislative Districts Functions
In finding legislative districts in the United States, the ZIP codes may be in common use.
Although the official website of the United States House of Representatives has a “Find Your Representative” option.
This option searches for congressional districts using ZIP codes alone.
However, it redirects multiple districts related to one ZIP code.
This is because several parts of a US ZIP code can be found in different districts.
5. Internet Functions
In 1978, a proposal was made for a national system of community networks making use of United States ZIP codes for routing.
The data got is an important part of the software on many websites called dealer/store locators, particularly brick-and-click websites.
This software processes a user-input ZIP code that returns a list of business locations in a pattern of increasing proximity from the center of the requested code.
Meanwhile, customers located outside of the United States of America cannot be registered on U.S. websites.
This is because the code system is restricted to the U.S. postal network.
However, to circumvent this limitation, many websites buy postal code data from other countries.
They alternatively make allowances in situations where the ZIP code is not authenticated.
The ZIP code is used on the Internet to provide a location if a precise address is not compulsory.
However, the user’s municipality is required.
A typical example is a local news, television listings, weather forecasts, online dating, etc.
6. Credit Card Security Usage
The authorization of credit cards is done using ZIP codes, known as the Address Verification System (AVS).
This is because the ZIP code is an important part of AVS, and the merchant is expected to collect the entire address.
However, there are some cases in which ZIP codes are the only thing required for AVS.
Especially where the collection of signatures or other necessary information is not possible, like in vending machines.
US ZIP Codes
|Alabama (AL)||Montgomery||35004 to 36925|
|Alaska (AK )||Juneau||99501 to 99950|
|Arizona (AZ)||Phoenix||85001 to 86556|
|Arkansas (AR)||Little Rock||71601 to 72959|
|California (CA)||Sacramento||90001 to 96162|
|Colorado (CO)||Denver||80001 to 81658|
|Connecticut (CT)||Hartford||06001 to 06928|
|Delaware (DE)||Dover||19701 to 19980|
|Florida (FL)||Tallahassee||32003 to 34997|
|Georgia (GA)||Atlanta||30002 to 39901|
|Hawaii (HI)||Honolulu||96701 to 96898|
|Idaho (ID)||Boise||83201 to 83877|
|Illinois (IL)||Springfield||60001 to 62999|
|Indiana (IN)||Indianapolis||46001 to 47997|
|Iowa (IA)||Des Moines||50001 to 52809|
|Kansas (KS)||Topeka||66002 to 67954|
|Kentucky (KY)||Frankfort||40003 to 42788|
|Louisiana (LA)||Baton Rouge||70001 to 71497|
|Maine (ME)||Augusta||03901 to 04992|
|Maryland (MD)||Annapolis||20588 to 21930|
|Massachusetts (MA)||Boston||01001 to 05544|
|Michigan (MI)||Lansing||48001 to 49971|
|Minnesota (MN)||Saint Paul||55001 to 56763|
|Mississippi (MS)||Jackson||38601 to 39776|
|Missouri (MO)||Jefferson City||63001 to 65899|
|Montana (MT)||Helena||59001 to 59937|
|Nebraska (NE)||Lincoln||68001 to 69367|
|Nevada (NV)||Carson City||88901 to 89883|
|New Hampshire (NH)||Concord||03031 to 03897|
|New Jersey (NJ)||Trenton||07001 to 08989|
|New Mexico (NM)||Santa Fe||87001 to 88439|
|New York (NY)||Albany||00501 to 14925|
|North Carolina (NC)||Raleigh||27006 to 28909|
|North Dakota (ND)||Bismarck||58001 to 58856|
|Ohio (OH)||Columbus||43001 to 45999|
|Oklahoma (OK)||Oklahoma City||73001 to 74966|
|Oregon (OR)||Salem||97001 to 97920|
|Pennsylvania (PA)||Harrisburg||15001 to 19640|
|Rhode Island (RI)||Providence||02801 to 02940|
|South Carolina (SC)||Columbia||29001 to 29945|
|South Dakota (SD)||Pierre||57001 to 57799|
|Tennessee (TN)||Nashville||37010 to 38589|
|Texas (TX)||Austin||73301 to 88595|
|Utah (UT)||Salt Lake City||84001 to 84791|
|Vermont (VT)||Montpelier||05001 to 05907|
|Virginia (VA)||Richmond||20101 to 24658|
|Washington (WA)||Olympia||98001 to 99403|
|West Virginia (WV)||Charleston||24701 to 26886|
|Wisconsin (WI)||Madison||53001 to 54990|
|Wyoming (WY)||Cheyenne||82001 to 83414|
From the analyzed insights above, the ZIP codes of United States have developed on purpose from just a means of collating and distributing mail.
It has more sophisticated functions, like data collation for census demographics and data gathering for security needs especially in preventing and controlling crime.
Also, they have enhanced certain aspects of internet functionalities especially as regards online shopping.
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