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Finnish Mail System Abandons Tuesday Delivery 183

Reader jones_supa writes: In a world moving to electronic communications, the snail mail traffic has seen a huge drop. Because of this, Posti, the mail delivery organization of Finland will not be delivering letters and magazines on Tuesdays anymore. Tuesday was selected because it generally has the lowest volume of mail. For example, magazines and advertisements are targeted to the end of the week, so that people have more time for shopping dreams in the weekend. Another reason is that Posti recently launched a lawn mowing service which operates on Tuesdays.
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Finnish Mail System Abandons Tuesday Delivery

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  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:24PM (#52268427) Journal

    The USPS would be willing to make similar reforms, but is prevented from doing so by a congress that wants to cripple it with unreasonable pension obligations that not one single company would have to meet, and all manner of restrictions that prevent it from actually competing with private couriers.

    • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:33PM (#52268517)
      The free market can't tolerate a successful government agency.
      • 1) it's not the free market crippling the USPS, it's the government itself, and

        2) pretty shitty if you have a business and the government decides to take over your commercial niche: no taxes to pay, not to mention a host of organizational advantages, immunity to lawsuits, and the opportunity to have laws written on their behalf without even paying a lobbyist to smoke a congressman's pole to get it done.

        • by ninjagin ( 631183 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @04:41PM (#52270537)

          I'm a little confused by your response. The postal service is written into the constitution, but the laws for funding of the pension obligations was written by Fedex and UPS and passed by the congress after a little campaign cash got passed around. I'm struggling to remember a law that the postal service got written on their behalf. Can you furnish an example?

          The security and dependability of the mail was a big deal to the founding fathers, because it ensured privacy, facilitated commerce and provided the handling for unfettered communications between the people and the government. The logistical conditions are different, today, but those same elements still apply. It's the infrastructure of a free society, in gross terms. Voter information, tax forms, subpoenas, government invoices, correspondence with government agencies and branches of government, benefit payouts all need a dependable and timely way to get to people that is not influenced by or unduly affected by private industry. Everyone needs that stuff, so a basic foundation of affordable service for all citizens is necessary.

          Postage actually used to be a tax when I was a kid, but they changed it to a service back in the eighties, if I remember correctly, and this opened up the private letter delivery market for UPS and Fedex and the rest. It's really the exact opposite of your contention that the USPS took over a commercial niche. The postal service can still be sued for liability, so I don't know what kind of immunity you're talking about. What offenses are you thinking about?

    • by pla ( 258480 )
      By that reasoning, shouldn't one of its private competitors, not similarly burdened by mean ol' congress, have rendered the USPS totally irrelevant through sheer capitalistic efficiency by now?
    • by uncqual ( 836337 )

      Yet, the USPS still has exclusive access to the mailbox at your home -- the mailbox YOU paid for in most cases. Hard to feel much sympathy for the USPS with that sort of advantage over other carriers.

  • >> snail mail traffic has seen a huge drop. Because of this...mail delivery organization...will not be delivering letters and magazines on [day] anymore

    Seems reasonable: it you have less volume, reduce your costs by dropping your capacity. Coming soon to USPS I hope? (Even every other day might be worth it - the USPS's "no Saturdays" plan actually leaves a three-day gap in most weeks.)
    • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:27PM (#52268469)
      Seems reasonable? Really? How do poor people get mail, then? In the US, poor people used to have guaranteed mail delivery 6 days a week. Now, if, they can afford to live in the right place, and can afford to get Internet service, and the Internet service happens to work correctly, and they can afford a working computer, THEN they can pay their bills? That doesn't seem reasonable to me at all.
      • Seems reasonable? Really? How do poor people get mail, then? In the US, poor people used to have guaranteed mail delivery 6 days a week. Now, if, they can afford to live in the right place, and can afford to get Internet service, and the Internet service happens to work correctly, and they can afford a working computer, THEN they can pay their bills? That doesn't seem reasonable to me at all.

        If they are receiving bills that are due without even two days for turnaround time, then that's the unreasonable thing. Fortunately that rarely if ever happens.

      • >> How do poor people get mail, then? ...pay their bills?

        1) Centralized and postbox mail pickup would still be daily.
        2) If you're waiting until the last possible day to pay your bill, that's dumb for another reason: mail isn't guaranteed to be delivered by a certain time even it it's received.
        3) The mail would still arrive every OTHER day, and we know that's no problem already because (wait for it) sometimes we already SKIP TWO DAYS in a row (e.g., Sunday + a federal holiday on a Monday) and nothing b
      • by pla ( 258480 )
        Seems reasonable? Really? How do poor people get mail, then?

        How does alternate-day snail-mail substantially and disproportionately impact the poor?

        Put down the Kool-Ade. Not every "basic" service needs to operate a firehose so your mythical underserved poor can take a sip of water on occasion.
      • Seems reasonable? Really? How do poor people get mail, then? In the US, poor people used to have guaranteed mail delivery 6 days a week.

        Who do you think end-up paying for that mail delivered 6 days a week? How does that improve the situation of the poor?

      • by Livius ( 318358 )

        All that because they have to wait until Wednesday for their mail?

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      I'm not comfortable with a reduction in mail service but if there has to be a compromise this doesn't sound bad.

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:24PM (#52268439) Homepage Journal

    ...Posti, the mail delivery organization of Finland will not be delivering letters and magazines on Tuesdays anymore. [...] Another reason is that Posti recently launched a lawn mowing service which operates on Tuesdays.

    Really? Delivering newspapers and mowing lawns? Do they only hire teenagers?

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:25PM (#52268443) Journal

    Another reason is that Posti recently launched a lawn mowing service which operates on Tuesdays.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/int... [theatlantic.com]

  • by irrational_design ( 1895848 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2016 @12:25PM (#52268445)

    This all sounded reasonable until the last line. What!? Did I read that right? A lawn mowing service? Talk about a non sequitur. Does anyone have any insights into this? I've never been to Finland, but I imagine they only need to mow their lawns for a few months a year. What do they do on Tuesdays during the rest of the year? Are these the postal workers who are mowing the lawns?

    • It's not uncommon in some countries for the postal service to offer services that have nothing to do with mail. In Japan, for instance, their postal service is also one of the country's largest banks. The USPS is more the exception with their sole focus being mail than the rule.

    • I think it makes perfect sense. There are probably a significant number of mailboxes surrounded by high grass and since the carrier is going door-to-door anyway...

      It just seems efficient. No need to pay two different services and waste a bunch of fuel...

    • Yup, they do. Just for the summer months, on a subscription basis, and on the Tuesdays.

  • welcome our Finnish, mail delivering, and lawn-mowing overlords.

  • Another reason is that Posti recently launched a lawn mowing service which operates on Tuesdays.

    USPS was (barely) self-supporting, before its government's monopoly on First Class Mail [fee.org] was obsoleted by e-mail.

    I wonder, if Finland will now similarly make it illegal for private competitors to mow lawns...

    • USPS was self-supporting, and still would be, were it not for conservatives in congress sabotaging it at the behest of their corporate paymasters.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Why does the USPS have to be "self-supporting"? What sense does that make?
      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Why does the USPS have to be "self-supporting"? What sense does that make?

        Khm, at least, you aren't questioning "the sense" of a nation's postal service mowing lawns... Now that would have been a tough one...

    • Fee.org? Lets just say they have their own axe to grind and are not unbiased source.

      But then again, you knew that which is why you intentionally cite libertarian/conservative/randroid sources.

      • Fee.org? Lets just say they have their own axe to grind and are not unbiased source.

        I didn't cite it for their opinion, which may, indeed, be biased. I cited them for their facts: the figure collected by NYC in parking fines from delivery-companies. Unless you are accusing them of bona-fide lying, your rebuttal is without merit.

        But then again, you knew that already — and just had to say something, didn't you?..

        which is why you intentionally cite libertarian/conservative/randroid sources

        No, that's bec

  • From the link about the lawn mowing:

    Posti has developed new home-delivered services to add more work to mail delivery operations,” the statement said. “Traditional mail volumes are falling, but mail routes nevertheless reach some 2.8 households on every weekday.

    If I only delivered to 2.8 households each week day, I'd have a lot of spare time on my hands too.

  • There are still quite a few places in the US that don't have cable service for TV's let alone decent email. So what do we do, just decide that they don't require/deserve mail service ? Granted Finland is very proactive in having connectivity everywhere but it is a relatively small country as well.

    • Most of the US has sufficient view of the magical sky beasts we call satellites which can deliver perfectly acceptable* TV and email services.

      *By acceptable, I'm referring to the level of discourse of cable TV stations - whether that meets your personal standard is an entirely different issue.

      • by Archfeld ( 6757 )

        Sat TV is quite acceptable and generally accessible everywhere, but internet via satellite is very expensive and the inherent delays suck.
        Hughesnet offers speeds up to 5Mbps down and 1 Mbps up for a mere $79.00 a month and tops out at 15Mbps download. Hardly what I'd call acceptable.

  • This is what Canada should have done rather than phasing out home delivery of mail in favour of not-so-super "super mailboxes".

    For those not in the know "super mailboxes" are basically community mailboxes located somewhere in your neighbourhood. The not-so-super aspects of this is that they are subject to vandalism, theft, and arson (yes, arson). Additionally, some people feel it acceptable to drop their junk mail straight on the ground, rather than take it home for recycling. And, finally, for some folks (

  • This will get buried under all the stupid arguing about the USPS, but if anyone is interested New Zealand Post went to 3 times a week deliveries last year. Seems to work OK, it just means some of the bills that still get mailed to me might arrive a couple of days later.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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