Saturday, January 1, 2011

Postal Service in Åland

The postal service in Åland got started in 1638 during the Swedish reign. For a long time the activity consisted mostly of taking care of the obligatory mail conveyance across the Åland sea and mainland. It took until 1866 before the two post offices in Kastelholm and Eckerö were accompanied by the post office in Mariehamn. In 1809 the Åland postal service came under Russian surveillance as part of the Grand Duchy of Finland.

Most of the post offices in Åland were founded at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The postal delivery routes came about in the 1920s. In 1917 the independent Finland took over the responsibility for the postal service in Åland. The postal service got incorporated with the telegraph service in the "Post och Telegrafverket" 1927. The Post was organised as a governmental department. In the 1970s it was decided that its activities would be run according to "business principles". In 1981 the department changed its name to "Post och Televerket". In 1990 the organizational form was changed into a business firm with independent economy under the name "Post- och tele".

The "Postbanken" was founded in 1888. The company became a public limited company on 1 January 1989. In the spring of 1998 the bank's name changed to Leonia Bank AB. Åland issued its first stamps in 1984. The stamps were issued by "Post- och tele" in Finland in co-operation with the Åland Government until 31 December 1992.

The post office network was re-organized in 1991, 1/3 of the offices were closed and 1/3 were to be run by representatives. The remaining post offices were combined with bank services. In the middle of 1991 the postal service in Finland was deregulated. Finland - and Åland - became the first country in the world to open its postal market to competition.

Åland became an independent postal administration on 1 January 1993 through a change in the Åland Autonomy Act. The business is based upon the provincial law regarding Posten på Åland and is run as a business firm under the supervision of the Åland Government.

The Åland Post has been run as an independent business subordinated to Åland's government and administrative board since 1993. The Post employs 280 people and in 2001 had a turnover of 15,6 million euro.

There are 22 post offices on Åland. The head office is situated at Torggatan 4 in Mariehamn. There are post offices with postalservices in the following places: Brändö, Eckerö, Föglö, Godby, Jomala, Kumlinge, Kökar, Lemland, the Post terminal in Sviby, Sund, Ödkarby, Enklinge, and Vårdö.

In addition to this there are postal agents offering postal services in Geta, Hammarland, Jurmo, Lappo, Lumparland, Pålsböle, Saltvik and Sottunga.

(Source: GPFS)

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