While Eircode’s unique design has been described by Department of Communications officials as “world-beating”, the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), which represents more than 200 member companies, has said the postcode is “useless” to its members.
Now the FTAI has formally lodged an unlawful state aid complaint with the European Commission, arguing that Eircode’s structure gives an unfair advantage to An Post.
Eircode, which is due to be launched to the public this month, is a seven-character code comprising two sections; a three-character routing key and a random four- character unique identifier that identifies individual addresses.
As the last four characters are randomised, there will be no sequence or structure to the code, meaning that the Eircode for adjacent properties will bear no relation to each other.
The FTAI allege that the routing key has been designed to correspond with An Post’s 139 postal districts, and that An Post does not require and will not use the last four characters of the code.
It further maintains that the randomised unique identifier is of no use to companies trying to route their deliveries.
“Since An Post does not need postcodes to deliver mail or parcels to addresses, we consider the structure of Eircode to be an unlawful State-sponsored attempt by An Post to maintain a competitive advantage in the delivery of parcels,” FTAI general manager Neil McDonnell wrote as part of the association’s complaint.
“Competitor parcel operators will not be able to make operational and distribution savings from the introduction of Eircode because it is an unstructured, random code, which will not, of itself, support navigation, route planning, or route optimisation.”
In its 13-page complaint, the FTAI alleges that “specious, inaccurate, unsubstantiated, invented, illogical, and non-evidence based reasoning” was used to justify Eircode’s design.