The earliest communications came into being with the building of roads and other trade routes. News was spread through a network of merchants and traders, or carried by horse and rider, or passed on along a relay system of runners who would sprint from one major town to another. These relatively simple means of communication remained predominant right up to the founding of Bangkok.
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) was the first monarch to take an interest in corresponding in English with foreign heads of state and other dignitaries both in Thailand and abroad. This correspondence was a clever strategy for building vital alliances and friendships in Asia, Europe and beyond. In fact, this strategy contributed greatly to the King’s success in steering the Siamese ship of state safely through the stormy seas of Western imperialism and preserving his country’s independence.
It was during King Chulalongkorn’s reign that Thailand’s first “postal business” came into being. Its inaugural service was the sale of stamps for delivering Thai-language newspapers around the capital, Bangkok.
Soon, the value and importance of this new business became readily evident, and the Siamese government made plans to establish an official postal service in Bangkok. This, then, marked the true beginning of the country’s postal service.
The Thai postal service traces its origins back to the reign of King Chulalongkorn (RamaV), when the royal government established the Post Office Department and issued the country’s first set of stamps (“Solos”) and the very first postcards. The department and these initial products provided support for the growth of this budding new service.
From the very start, the Thai postal service and all the people responsible for it have been intent on improving operations and expanding its range of services. Numerous projects have been implemented over the years. One of the earliest ones was to join the Universal Postal Union, enabling Thailand’s postal services to ship and receive mail to and from abroad.
Employees were given special education and training to prepare them for work at the Post Office Department. Eventually, a postal and communications school was set up specifically for post office personnel, and a second post office building was constructed.
Despite the turmoil that has shaken the country at different times in its history, the Post Office Department was never deterred from carrying out its mission to serve the Thai public. Even at the height of World War II, the Post and Telegraph Department operated without interruption, as ensuring the smooth flow of communications has always been seen as paramount.
Regular participation in meetings of international bodies led to a series of changes in the country’s postal business and in the services it provided. For instance, the Civil Works Department ordered the merger of the Post Office and the Telegraph Departments to form the Post and Telegraph Department, helping to streamline the management of both government organizations.
At this time, the postal service was under the supervision of the Civil Works Department, which signed an agreement on mail bag delivery routes covering all transportation routes. This made mail delivery faster and more convenient to all parts of the country.
Thailand’s postal services went through their period of greatest and most rapid expansion during the reign of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in the early part of the 20th century. A total of 18 new post and telegraph offices were opened at important locations throughout the Kingdom. Motorized vehicles were used for mail delivery for the very first time, and domestic airmail services were also inaugurated.
Because of this rapid growth, the Post and Telegraph Department had no choice but to move to out of its original premises and into its second facility, which was officially named the Central Post Office, a name which it has retained to the present day.
After one of the most dramatic moments in the country’s history – Thailand’s shift from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy – the Thai Post and Telegraph Department was confronted with another period of radical change. A raft of new laws affecting the organization’s operations was introduced, and royal decree ordered the government bureaucracy restructured. Certain activities that had been the purview of the Post and Telegraph Department were given the status of independent bodies.
Efforts to make Post and Telegraph Department management more responsive and more efficient and to improve the quality of its services culminated in the passage of the Communications Act of Thailand (1976). This new law redefined postal operations and established the national post office as a state enterprise, a status it continues to enjoy today.
The purpose behind the decision to designate the country’s post and telecommunications services as a state enterprise under the name of the Communications Authority of Thailand was to facilitate the growth and development of the country’s economy and to help improve the lives of the Thai people. The Post and Telegraph Department, meanwhile, continued to function as a government agency responsible for policy, planning, and the supervision of the country’s airwaves.
Since its founding 25 years ago, the Communications Authority of Thailand, under the aegis of the Communications Ministry, has never stopped upgrading its technology, building better and more extensive communications networks, and improving the quality of its postal and telecommunications services. CAT has continuously lived up to its motto: A Nationwide Network Connected to Every Corner of the Globe. And to accommodate even further growth in the future, the Communications Authority has worked out of a new headquarters building on Chaeng Wattana Road at Laksi, Bangkok, since 1986.
At present the Thai postal business has reached another major turning point in its long history, with CAT’s transformation into two sister companies: Thailand Post Co., Ltd. and CAT Telecommunications (Public) Co., Ltd. on August 14, 2003. Both companies are state enterprises under the auspices of the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications.
This is another important milestone in the history of Thailand’s postal business, attesting to the capacity of postal employees to adapt to change and pull together as a team in the work of restructuring the organization and its operations. The postal service, in its new incarnation, is even more committed to meeting all the needs of the Thai public and, in this way, to ensuring its own long-term growth, profitability, and fiscal self-sufficiency.
Today, Thailand Post Company Limited has dedicated itself to being the leader in the postal business and providing fast, efficient, reliable services that meet the needs of businesses and all levels and corners of Thai society. With its comprehensive network that includes over 1,200 post offices and 16 postal centers in Bangkok and the provinces, a professional staff, and the latest in communications technology, Thailand Post is confident of its ability to continue to prosper as an active player in the global postal system.
Thailand Post is your best link with the rest of the world. We have a comprehensive range of quality services specially tailored to meet your every need.