The Only Floating Post Office in the World

The J. W. Westcott II is the only floating post office in the world. It operates out of Detroit, Michigan, and is the only floating zip code in the United States. The Westcott Company was established in 1874 by Captain John Ward Westcott, who ferried supplies — and by 1895, the mail — to passing ships via rowboat. By 1949, the company commissioned Paasch Marine Service of Erie, Pennsylvania, to build J. W. Westcott II, named in honor of the company’s founder. The 45-foot-long tugboat has a beam of 13 feet, a 305hp marine diesel engine, and a top speed of 15 knots. Mail addressed to members of ships’ crews on vessels transiting the Detroit River can have mail delivered to them by the J. W. Westcott II by being addressed: “Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, MI 48222. The mail is then delivered to the appropriate ships utilizing ropes and buckets.