When the postman only rings thrice

The Finnish parliament is debating a law aimed at cutting the postal service's costs. One major bone of contention is a possible reduction of postal deliveries from five to three days per week. Finland's papers, which are often delivered by postal workers, fiercely oppose the plan.

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Hämeen Sanomat (FI) /

Don't cut postal delivery to three times a week

Cutting down postal delivery to three days a week is out of the question as far as the daily paper Hämeen Sanomat is concerned:

“Because the volume of letter post is decreasing and the circulation of newspapers and magazines is also dropping, the postal service wants to scrap constrictive rules. … In the rural areas where post and newspapers often aren't delivered until the afternoon or evening this plan has caused dismay. Even if most newspapers in Finland are delivered early in the morning one in five of them, mostly in the countryside, are delivered with the letter post. Under no circumstances should delivery be reduced to three days a week. Even if the competition in the sector is growing and normal letter and package delivery accounts for just five percent of delivered products, parliament will hardly allow the state-run company to cut its services. … Postal delivery five days a week must be guaranteed all over Finland.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Copy the New Zealand model

Finland's postal service needs to come up with creative solutions to ensure five-day delivery, writes Helsingin Sanomat:

“The costs of delivery are highest in thinly populated regions, but this is also where the population is older and more dependent on the few remaining services. So managers, public servants and politicians must think carefully about how to maintain the current delivery rates. … One solution would be to couple the delivery of medications with letter or newspaper deliveries. In New Zealand, which is geographically similar to Finland, sub-contracted companies and even private postal services ensure five-day postal delivery. That could work well in Finland too.”