A new, national seven-character postcode will be implemented in the State by 2015.

Ireland will be the first country in the world to have a public database of individual seven-character postcodes to be allocated to houses, apartments, offices and business addresses.

The new codes will help emergency, postal and other service providers to locate all households.

In addition, the new system will offer consumer benefits including cheaper and better delivery services in urban and rural Ireland.

This, in particular, will help supermarket home deliveries.

According to Freight Transport Association Ireland, it should also eliminate the problem of non-unique premises addresses, which affects up to 35% of Irish addresses.

Neil McDonnell, General Manager of FTA Ireland, said: "This new system will enable greater speed and efficiency of deliveries and freight operations overall, which could result in significant savings in time and money, to the benefit of businesses and customers alike."