Icelandic Postage Stamp Publication to Stop

icelandic stamp

The last Icelandic postage stamps could be released in two years time. Iceland Post recently announced the decision to stop servicing postage stamp collectors due to heavy losses in recent years. The service, which has mainly been used by stamp collectors all over the world, will stop in 2020, RÚV reports.

Iceland Post is in the process of restructuring due to heavy operating losses in recent years. The staff members of the Philatelic Sales part of Iceland Post were among those who received a letter of resignation from the organization, as part of company-wide layoffs.

“Iceland Post has run an ambitious operation and postage stamp publication for decades,” said CEO Birgir Jónsson. “Now, the outlook for the company’s operational environment means that we cannot continue the publication. We’ve lost tens of millions each year on this operation. This is part of the rationalization measures which we’re in the middle of. Regrettably, we have to cut down there as we do in other departments.”

Collectors buying Icelandic postage stamps have led them spreading all over the world. Collector purchases have been the foundation for publishing new postage stamps in recent years, but dwindling sales have led to Iceland Post having had to reconsider the publication.

The publication of new postage stamps is prepared years in advance. The publication will be continued through next year, and maybe a little bit into 2021, to finish prior plans. According to Birgir, the publication will cease then and Iceland Post will rely on its sizable postage stamp stock. “We have a stock of stamps which will last for many years, and maybe until the last letter will be sent.” Birgir says that if the stamp stock finishes before the last letters and postcards will be sent, it is possible to re-print stamps.

Culturally significant?
Iceland Post’s exclusive right to distribute letters is void at the end of 2019. The company is now working on finalizing a service agreement with Icelandic authorities. Directors at Iceland Post state they are willing to continue publishing stamps if authorities consider stamps culturally important. They state, however, that the state will have to cover costs if the publication is to continue.

45 Years Later, All of Route 1 Paved

45 years after the creation of Route 1, the Icelandic Ring Road, the circle has been fully completed as all of the road is now paved. The last stretch of the ring road to be fully completed was in Berufjörður fjord in East Iceland, which had been a gravel stretch of the road up until now.

The road in Berufjörður is 4,9 kilometres long and shortens the total length of Route 1 by 3,9 kilometres. It has been open for traffic with the new conditions since August 1 but was officially opened by the Icelandic Road Administration on August 14. The project of replacing the gravel with paved roads has been in the works since the early 2000s. This stretch of Route 1 was one of the more controversial as the road could ill handle rain along with heavy traffic. Over a thousand cars use the road stretch every day, so conditions became especially bad on the old gravel road during rain.

The project of converting the gravel road into a paved one, along with a new bridge crossing the Berufjörður fjord, began in August 2017. W

Route 1
Route 1 was created in 1974 with the construction of bridges crossing Skeiðarársandur sands. The 1,322 kilometre long road is popular with travellers, as they can circle the whole of the island. For the first years, the majority of the ring road was gravel. Work began on replacing the gravel with gravel in 1978.
Three separate extensive pushes were made by the Iceland Road Association towards making the whole of Route 1 paved. The first part to be completed was between Reykjavík and Akureyri in 1994, while the next project was from Reykjavík to Höfn í Hornafirði in 2001. The final major undertaking was completed between Akureyri and Egilsstaðir in 2009. Since then, smaller parts of Route 1 have slowly been upgraded from gravel roads to paved.

Head to www.road.is or call 1777 for road information during your travels in Iceland.