Locals Greenland

With friendly permission by Bruno Thoma, taken from his website


Pakke-Porto: Postal History

by Bruno Thoma

Postal History

The traffic between Danmark and Greenland was very difficult in the old times. This not only due to the distance but also because of the polar climate. Therefore was it only possilbe to reach Greenland during summer.

The monopoly for post traffic was in the hands of Den Kongelige Grønlanske Handel (KGH) since 1774. They were responsible for transport and delivery of any mail in Greenland. Until 1850 there was only 1 trip per year. Afterwards the number of deliveries rose slowly. In 1888, the first steamers were used. Sailships were used until 1928. In 1875 the mail was delivered twice a year to the colonies, 1900 2-5times, 1930 2-11times, 1939 9-17times. Only Ivigtut had more frequent service by the mining company due to its Kryolith-mines. The mining company was allowed to deliver mail. During the occupation of Danmark in WWII no service was possible, so the connection via USA and Canada was implemented. The airports built by the USA allowed air mail services from 1941. In 1946 these air services were stopped, but as soon as 1949 they were replaced by air mail services from Danmark.


Due to the increase of parcels transported between Danmark und Greenland the KGH started in 1905 to ask for some compensation for this service. They wanted to implement a fare to cover at least some of their costs. KGH was not allowed to issue their own stamps, but they were allowed to issue parcel stamps for the transport between Kopenhagen and Greenland and inside Greenland. This started on May 1,1905, the stamps were available from July 14, 1905. Until 1930 the taxes were very low. The fare for 5kg was only 10Øre. In 1930 this was changed to 190 Øre. Pakke-Porto was invaluated in 1938 and replaced by Danish and Greenland stamps.

Original Drawing

The original drawing was made in spring 1905 by the danish artist Gerhard Heilmann. This drawing was used for 16 of the 18 issues. Only Nr. 13-14, the so called Lachmann print, was made in offset print using a slightly different drawing.

Greenland Pakke-Porto Original Print

Original Print

Greenland Pakke-Porto Lachmann Print 70 Ore Greenland Pakke-Porto Lachmann Print 1 Kronen

Lachmann Print

literature: “Greenland GP5” by Torben Hjørne    ISBN: 087-88273-04-0