Ulaanbaatar & London – Mongol Post, Mongolia’s national postal delivery service, has adopted the addressing platform what3words for postal deliveries to customers across the country.
Mongolia covers an area nearly the size of the European Union, but has no consistent addressing system. what3words has developed an easy-to-use, accurate address for every 3m x 3m square in the world, and Mongol Post is now making this address system integral to its service and a part of the infrastructure that will help drive the country’s economic development.
Mongolia, well known for its nomadic population and vast, sparsely populated landscape, faces unique challenges when it comes to postal services. In many parts of the country, citizens have to collect mail from Post Office boxes dozens of kilometres away from their homes. Other customers have no access to postal services or deliveries at all. When deliveries are made, descriptive directions (for example, “opposite the gas station, near the Internet Cafe”) and landmarks are often the only way to specify a location; customers regularly provide a mobile phone number on the envelope so the driver can call for directions.
Failed deliveries are commonplace, inconveniencing citizens, holding back the operations of both businesses and government, and raising the cost of deliveries.
Mongol Post is the country’s largest postal service provider, with 900 employees serving more than 3 million citizens, 30% of whom are nomadic, roaming an area of more than 1.5 million square kilometres. As a rapidly emerging market, Mongolia needs a functioning address system to sustain its economic development and attract investment. what3words is a multi-award winning location reference system based on a global grid of 57 trillion 3 metre x 3 metre squares. Each square has been pre-assigned a fixed and unique 3 word address. The system is available as a mobile app or API integration and works both online and offline. It makes it easy to discover an address, communicate it and deliver to it.
Mongol Post customers will be able to discover any 3 word address using the free app, and simply write it on an envelope or enter it on the checkout page of a shopping website. Every citizen now has an address, whether they live in rural areas, the Ger districts (informal settlements in the capital) or the centre of Ulaanbaatar. what3words will be integrated across Mongol Post’s internal systems, while postal workers will use the 3 word address to navigate directly to the 3mx3m square where they will find the customer’s front door.
what3words is being used in over 170 countries by logistics firms, navigation apps, travel guides and NGOs. These include offline navigation giant Navmii, the United Nations disaster recovery app UN-ASIGN and Norway’s National Mapping website Norgeskart. The system works without a data connection and is available in multiple languages including Mongolian.
what3words has already shown its usefulness for package deliveries in the country; Mongolia’s fast-growing online marketplace Mmarket.mn allows customers to enter their 3 word address on checkout for smooth and efficient delivery, and also helps them to discover their 3 word address for the first time.
“We are on a mission to change the way people communicate location, because we want to make the world a more efficient, less frustrating and safer place,” said Chris Sheldrick, CEO and co-founder of what3words. “Using what3words across the country will help Mongolia leapfrog many nations that still rely on outdated and poorly performing addressing systems.”
Ms. Catherine Arnold, HMA, UK Ambassador to Mongolia, said: “This is a great example of a creative UK company bringing innovative technology to Mongolia to solve a real problem – Mongolia is the size of Western Europe with 3 million people, and Mongolians want to receive post and deliveries like everyone else. what3words and Mongol Post, for the first time, will give every Mongolian an address.”
Mr. Batsaikhan Tsedendamba, CEO of Mongol Post said: “I have been working at the Mongol Post company for 10 years now. During this time, we have been presented with numerous local and international addressing systems and technologies. Of them all, I believe what3words is the most user-friendly and optimal technology. We are glad to be introducing this innovation, particularly as we see increasing numbers of postal consumers. We are confident that our cooperation will be a successful one.”
Since its launch in 2013, what3words has experienced huge success; in 2015, the company was awarded the prestigious Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation and closed a $3.5million Series A funding round which was led by Intel Capital and included Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures. The company has won – to name just a few – two prestigious Webby Awards, a Universal Postal Union Innovation Award, and was selected as the British Accelerating Entrepreneur at this year’s EY World Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
what3words gives every place in the world an easy-to-share, easy-to-find address, thanks to an algorithm and a global grid of 3mx3m squares where each square is identified by a fixed and unique 3 word address. The what3words API is integrated into businesses, apps & services across the world. It works across all platforms and devices, in multiple languages, and offline.