E-commerce makes it to Tristan Da Cunha

The Internet revolution has been slow to reach the world’s most remote inhabited island.

It wasn’t the fact it takes a fishing boat six days to sail 4,500km (2,800miles) from the nearest island.

It wasn’t even that the British territory’s 300 inhabitants have just seven surnames between them, or that letters addressed to the capital, Edinburgh, often go wildly astray.

No. Online shopping firms simply wouldn’t post goods to Tristan Da Cunha because it has never had a postcode, until now.

The Royal mail has finally helped the South Atlantic hideaway, whose most famous residents are albatrosses and rockhopper penguins, move into the 21st century. It has assigned the island it’s own code of seven letters and numbers – TDCU 1ZZ.

Governor Mike Hentley was the first resident to receive an Internet order, symbolically, a book about the history of the island.

‘Having the postcode to order online has opened up a new way of buying,’ he said. However, delivering a package to the island will still be a slow process.

A letter can reach Cape Town in three days, where it is then placed on a fishing boat. But with boats leaving only every three weeks for the island, it could take up to a month for an order to arrive.

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