The company behind Eircode expects the postcode to be widely used within two years, despite the teething problems that plagued the system on launch day and sustained criticism from courier companies.
Liam Duggan, business development director for Capita Ireland and director of Eircode, said: “The last country to introduce one in the OECD was Serbia and it took them about two years for the uptake to reach the level it expected. We think it will be actually a bit quicker because of modern technology and the use of smartphones.”
Mr Duggan made the comments at the Eircode launch in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, where the event was picketed by an Irish language promotion group. Conradh na Gaeilge claims that some 50,000 Irish language placenames have been left off Eircode’s database.
The seven-digit code will be sent to 2.2m addresses over the next two weeks and an Eircode finder went live online yesterday morning.
However, many social media users reported that their homes were apparently given addresses in the wrong county, with Shannon Airport a high-profile casualty of the first day problem.
According to the Eircode finder’s database, the Clare-based airport’s address is in neighbouring Limerick.
Capita Ireland said that the database uses An Post’s address system to locate the codes. Communications Minister Alex White said that Eircodes will be an extra line added to addresses that are currently used, are not mandatory, and that no address is being changed as a result of its introduction.
“No house is being moved, no premises is being moved. There is no address going to change,” he said.
Mr Duggan said he did not understand criticisms of Eircode by the Freight Transport Association of Ireland. High-profile members of the freight association, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, said Eircode’s design is of no use to them and that they will not use it.
“The Freight Transport Association actually represent a small number of international carriers,” said Mr Duggan. “They don’t deliver a huge amount of parcels, I think it is less than 15% of the parcels delivered in Ireland are delivered by their members, and not all of the members of the Freight Transport Association are against it.
“If someone puts an Eircode on it, it brings it to the exact location. There’s nowhere else in the world that does that, so I don’t understand the criticism.”
The freight association’s general manager, Neil McDonnell, disputed Mr Duggan’s comments. He cited a 2013 Comreg report and said that freight association members carry about 35% of parcels by volume, and almost half by value.
It has lodged a formal complaint over Eircode with the European Commission.
Q & A
System a long time coming, and not like any other
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