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A Private Mail Bag, Locked Bag or caller service is a term for a special form of postal delivery in some countries, usually a government department or large private company, which receive large volumes of mail.
In some cases, a Private Mail Bag may not have a number:
It differs from PO box delivery in that whereas the holder of a PO box has to go to the Post Office in order to collect mail, the mail sent to a Private Bag is dispatched to the holder by a mail contractor.
In Australia and Singapore, a Locked Bag is similar to a Private Mail Bag, but the holder must collect the mail at the Post Office, like a PO box. In the United States, this service is called caller service, although mail to a caller number is typically addressed as though the caller number were a physical PO box, as seen in the following example:
In South Africa, the Private Bag number may also contain letters.
Private Mail Bag addresses are often used in countries in Africa where there may be no street delivery service. In Europe and North America, where street delivery is more commonplace, large users may be allocated their own postal codes, and consequently need only use their physical address in correspondence; the postal code implies that the recipient receives mail by caller service.
Many major newspapers in large American Cities have their own postal codes, and as a result large newspapers can be sent mail without the street address of the newspaper. For example, the Washington Post has the unique ZIP code 20071.
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