A newspaper is not complete until it is delivered
Early-morning delivery work offers paid exercise
Early-morning delivery work offers independence and a peaceful work environment
Early-morning delivery work can be learned quickly and it does not require previous work experience in the field
Early-morning deliverer’s work is highly valued
Take this playful test to find out are you suited for early-morning delivery work.
The work of the early-morning deliverer is a service profession, the last link in the chain. The deliverer’s contribution to a newspaper’s life cycle is important, as a newspaper is not complete until it has been delivered to the customer.
In the opinion of early-morning deliverers, one of the best aspects of the work is the paid exercise and autonomy it offers. It is also often emphasised that every day is a day off, because the work of the deliverer is already complete when other people are just waking up for work.
Finnish newspapers have almost a million early-morning delivery subscribers, and they value the delivery work very highly as they get to read the news in the local paper while enjoying their morning coffee.
Newspaper delivery is night work, which is why the deliverers are of legal age. Around 6,000 people work as deliverers, and 20 per cent of them use something other than Finnish as their working language. Up to 70 different nationalities are represented.
Delivery work is suitable for a wide range of life situations, such as students, pensioners, those who want additional work, those on sabbatical, those on childcare leave, the unemployed or even as main job. The essential thing is that they are able to live in a rhythm so that night work is possible. Usually the weather conditions during delivery are good, but if necessary, deliverers are able to equip themselves appropriately for the weather in question.
Depending on the region, early-morning deliveries usually start at 1–2 am and end at 6–7 am. A deliverer works an average of 3–4 hours per night, but sometimes work shifts may be slightly longer. The routes are mainly road routes, but there are also cycle or trolley routes in population centres and some operators have electric bike or electric trolley routes. Deliveries nowadays start in many places indoors, where deliverers can gather for coffee and catch up with others while waiting for the newspapers.
A deliverer’s most important tool nowadays is the electronic delivery book, a mobile software where the route addresses are presented in order of delivery and where the products to be delivered to each address are displayed. The software also serves as a communication channel. Delivery is very diverse nowadays, as delivery may include not only newspapers but also other mail such as letters, magazines, city newspapers, advertisements or even small packages. These all earn the deliverer more money.
Early-morning delivery is night work, so a deliverer is required to be of legal age. If the delivery is done by car, a driver’s license is also required. Car routes are mainly driven by the deliverer’s own cars and they are paid per kilometre, but some delivery companies also have their own delivery cars, which means that even a carless person has the opportunity to do delivery work.
Early-morning delivery income can be adjusted to suit one’s own needs by choosing an appropriate role and workload. As a rule, a regular deliverer works six nights in a row and then takes two days off, but many companies also have the possibility to work in other rhythms.
On the days off of a regular deliverer, a day off replacement works in the district. They can act as a replacement for several deliverers and thus can chain shifts in a row. In addition, this also creates variety in the districts.
If a deliverers falls ill or has to be absent for some other reason, a reserve deliverer will conduct the delivery of that district. A reserve deliverer is a more experienced deliverer who has come to know several districts in their area. The reserve deliverer may not have their own permanent district at all, or very few, so that they have the opportunity to deliver for districts that fall vacant unexpectedly. A reserve deliverer is often compensated extra on top of the normal district wage.
If the illness is already known during the day, there is usually time to find a substitute for the district. Substitutes are deliverers who have become familiar with a few districts, for example through holidays fill-ins, and can assist in their deliveries if necessary. Substitute deliverers may work regularly in their own districts and get extra work with fill-ins. For many, early-morning delivery is their first job, as it does not require previous work experience in the field and it can be learned quickly. In many cases, the employment first starts as a holiday replacement for a permanent deliverer. By chaining several replacements, an employment relationship lasting the entire holiday season can be easily obtained, which can possibly be continued, for example, as a day off replacement deliverer alongside studies or another job.
Varhaisjakajaksi.fi website is part of the joint development project of the Finnish Media Federation and the Industrial Union, which aims to secure delivery work. The project shares information on delivery work, improves the general image of delivery and makes it easier to enter the industry.
“Multivocal, high-quality media is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy, in which everyone can form their opinion freely and on the basis of correct information. Printed newspaper continues to play a very important role in the exercise of citizens’ freedom of expression. The right to receive reliable information in the desired format, printed or digital, requires functional delivery services and adequate number of professional deliverers,” says Jukka Holmberg, CEO of the Finnish Media Federation.
“The role of the newspaper as a reliable source of information is still strong in our society and we want to be there to ensure the existence of newspapers. Printed matter has a strong connection with the members of the Industrial Union, to which delivers belong. We are happy to be involved in activities aimed at improving the situation for both our members and the industry as a whole,” commented Marko Rosqvist, Head of the Industrial Union’s Special Sector.
The project will be carried out in close cooperation with delivery companies. The project is funded by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.