EarlyBird – a new way of delivering papers


EarlyBird is the delivery service of Sanoma and Helsingin Sanomat, in which anybody can become a delivery person and work on their own terms. The most important thing is that the papers reach the subscribers and the delivery people get proper compensation for the work they do.

The EarlyBird concept makes it possible to do delivery work in a new way. Now you can deliver papers in Uusimaa as a self-employed person or as a freelancer. More than 30 self-employed delivery people already work for EarlyBird. By early November in 2017 at least 60 new delivery people were needed for a commission relationship and by the summer of 2018 the need will multiply.


The delivery person keeps the quality high

Timo Väätäinen is both an entrepreneur and an employer at Väätäinen Logistics. He works for Sonoma’s EarlyBird service as one of the regional delivery coordinators.

“I take care of transports in my own area and I arrange the daily delivery business. I develop the delivery operations together with the customers and keep the quality of delivery at a high level. For the customer, it should only be visible at the morning coffee table as a quiet reading moment before the day’s rush”, Timo Väätäinen says.

Timo Väätäinen started paper delivery work as far back as 2002. He was unemployed for a while and decided to apply for a job as a delivery person at Leijonajakelu deliveries, as it was called back then.

“I was able to work as a summer fill-in person for a couple of summers until I ended up back in store logistics. After more than six months, I got a phone call and soon I was delivering papers to customers again. I had two jobs at the same time: I delivered papers at night and worked in morning and evening shifts in storage in alternating weeks. It turned out to be too much after a while and I decided to continue the delivery work only,” Timo Väätäinen reminisces.

Entrepreneur step by step

Timo Väätäinen then moved to the Finnish Post Office but had been thinking of entrepreneurship seriously for a few years.

“Sanoma had started a pilot called EarlyBird in Karkkila. A couple of weeks after I had submitted my application I got a phone call. Finally, I got the opportunity to make my dream come true and I registered as self-employed at once,” Timo Väätäinen says.

Timo familiarized himself with the requirements of becoming a transportation entrepreneur and kept thinking about the coming entrepreneurship.

“I set up Väätäinen Logistics business, which is a transportation and freight company. We provide contractual and charter transportation services for clients round the clock as needed,” Timo Väätäinen says.

Whilst coordinating deliveries, Timo is in contact with self-employed delivery professionals on a daily basis.

“I have an edge because of my solid experience as a delivery person. I have heard a lot of good things and I can tell you that delivery work has taken a step forwards towards the level it has now become. The new entrepreneur-based delivery work is a good thing and suits many people,” Timo Väätäinen says, praising the work.

What is EarlyBird?

When you work as an EarlyBird delivery person, you can employ yourself as a freelancer or as an entrepreneur: you can choose the setting yourself to suit your own situation.

“It is possible to do occasional delivery work as a freelancer, in which case it is easy to make some extra money. On the other hand, it is more sensible to work as a regular and full-time paper delivery person if you are an entrepreneur. And even if you start off as a freelancer, it is possible to set up a business later on,” cooperation coordinator Mari Jokinen from Sanoma says.

Miksi EarlyBird?

Reading the paper when you are drinking your morning coffee is an important part of a paper’s promise to its customers. The costs of early delivery are expected to rise significantly and add pressure to increase subscription prices in coming years. More than a year ago, Sanoma started the EarlyBird delivery service, which is a response to these challenges. EarlyBird is known for its high-quality and flexible deliveries and good cheer.

“At the moment, we operate in Karkkila, Nummi-Pusula and Mäntsälä. Later in the fall, we will expand the EarlyBird delivery service to the Vihti and Nurmijärvi regions, where the paper delivery services are provided by self-employed delivery people or entrepreneurs. EarlyBird diversifies the earning possibilities of different people and the area, cuts costs by sliming the administrative structures and responds to the trends and changing nature of employment,” Mari Jokinen sums up.

EarlyBird work is free because each delivery person can choose how much he or she wants to work. It is possible to work full-time or part-time as you wish.

“When you work conscientiously, it is rewarding. It has been great to watch how the new delivery people who already know the ropes have been happy with the EarlyBird work. My recommendation is that you try it out,” Timo Väätäinen says encouragingly.

At the moment, the EarlyBird early delivery network covers Helsingin Sanomat, Aamuposti, Länsi-Uusimaa, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, Kauppalehti and HBL. The early delivery system also covers Me Naiset ja Rakennuslehti.

“In October, a new product will include the address-based ET magazine and later on letters from businesses. We are developing the service all the time so that we can include new products,” Mari Jokinen hints.

Anybody can apply for work as a delivery person, from experienced delivery people to students.


Riikka Hollo

Story published in Oikotie Työpaikat 12 September 2017