Ireland readies national postcode system


Ireland has announced that it will implement a national postcode
system in early 2011. It is currently the only EU nation without
such a system in place. The codes will likely be
alphanumeric.

The lack of a postcode kept direct marketers from expanding into
the Ireland market beyond Dublin and Cork, the only cities that
required them, because of the perceived inefficiencies of the
country’s less-automated system and the difficulties in compiling
geodemographic data. “Many ecommerce operators require a
postcode to be provided before a transaction can be
completed,” DHL Express Ireland noted in a statement.
“Without a postcode, Irish consumers can often find that
they cannot make the purchases they want online.” What’s
more, according to DHL, “over 40 percent of buildings in
Ireland have nonunique addresses, and this can cause practical
challenges when it comes to collection or delivery.”

In a statement supporting the change, the Irish Exporters
Association (IEA) said that An Post, Ireland’s national postal
service, currently delivers 75 percent of post within a day, a
rate that postal codes should help improve. A universal system
would also benefit businesses by facilitating “target
marketing and [reducing] wasted cost and irritation factor to
unintended mass market recipients”.

“I think, actually, for a lot of rural Ireland, this is a real
opportunity that you can start buying things through the
internet, get them to your house in a much more efficient
way,” Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s minister for communications,
said on an interview after announcing the news. “I think it
is part of our modern infrastructure, and we need it now.”

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