Businesses want postcodes introduced
The lack of postcodes in Ireland is costing businesses money and time, the chief executive of Retail Excellence Ireland has said. David Fitzsimons said Ireland was one of the only countries in the EU not to have postcodes, leading to a lack of competition among delivery companies.
“If you were cynical, you’d almost think the Government was doing it on purpose as it gives An Post a huge advantage. The State postal service has an advantage over newcomers as their postmen know all the addresses from years and years of delivery,” he said.
Mr Fitzsimons said consumers ultimately lost out as the lack of postcodes was making parcel delivery more expensive.
“If delivery companies didn’t have to spend hours trying to find a particular address, they could fit in more deliveries, and more deliveries would most likely lead to cheaper delivery costs.”
Littlewoods Ireland commercial director Geoff Scully said the lack of postcodes was a contributing factor in the lack of competition among some logistics companies.
“While there are some excellent operators, without a postcode system, this sector just won’t attract more players, and without more competition, it’s hard to drive down costs,” he said.
He said the lack of postcodes was a major issue for e-commerce businesses and home shopping companies like Littlewoods.
“Businesses like ours require as much scale as possible to drive down costs. I’ve been out in the delivery vans and they are constantly having to stop and ask locals for information on an address. This wastes a lot of time and money. Dublin does have postcodes, but the postcode covers a huge area. Places like Dublin 15 or Dublin 22 are massive areas. A postcode in the UK brings you to within six metres of a house or property.”
He said the need for postcodes has heightened due to the increase in the numbers of people ordering goods online.
About 2.6 million Irish shoppers are expected to spend €3.7 billion online this year, according to an Amárach Consulting report commissioned by UPC.
The report estimates the internet will contribute €11.3 billion to the Irish economy in 2016 if trends continue.
Mr Scully said postcodes would also help with verification of identities and addresses, which would help to reduce fraud.
Gary Delaney, the chief executive of Loc8 Code, said couriers incurred costs each day when they could not find addresses.
“Some 40 per cent of all addresses in Ireland are not unique, that is someone else has the same address. This is because the townland is often used as the address in rural areas,” he said.
Mr Delaney, whose code system allows anyone to find their own property on a map and have that position turned into an eight-character code, said the Government had promised postcodes by 2008, and then again by 2010, neither of which had happened.