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Finnish post office to start beer deliveries

Employees of national postal service Posti have started to deliver Sinebrychoff brand drinks, including beer, to retailers as part of their routine. With fewer people sending letters, Posti is keen on filling up its half empty lorries.

Postin kuljettaja Robert Gustafsson
The post is not just for letters anymore. Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle

National postal carrier Posti and Finland's brewery product leader Sinebrychoff have agreed that Posti will take over delivery of the company's beverages nationwide. Posti says the move does not affect any existing services such as snail mail.

Postal employees will also shelve the products for some of the retailers and make sure empty bottles and cans as well as packaging materials are returned or recycled.

The deal is intended to boost efficiency, so that no Posti lorry would drive cross-country with just half a load. The agreement does not involve Posti drivers in the Helsinki region.

"In rural areas especially Posti has a very dense distribution network that we are now relying on," Sinebrychoff supply chain chief Pasi Lehtinen says. "Both companies don't need to ship to small areas and villages, when one would suffice. There are savings to be made by combining routes and volumes."

Meanwhile a group of 28 National Coalition Party and Centre Party MPs signed a proposal on Friday expressing their stand against bringing ready to drink beverages (alcopops) into grocery stores. The necessary law change would run counter to the targets of the coming social and health care reform, the letter says. No ministers were among the signatories.

Useful miscellaneous filler

Posti endeavours to fill each of its delivery trucks with items of all shapes and sizes.

"Our units are always full on trips, back and forth," says food logistics manager Jani Lindström. "We haul freight, general cargo, mail, packages and anything else, really. We're making the most of our size as the country's largest logistics company."

Drinks company Sinebrychoff also stands to profit from Posti's investment in high-end ICT, which designs the lorries' countrywide routes.

Posti currently employs more than 800 logistics contractors. Sinebrychoff's Lehtinen says that long-time outsourced firms have been assured a possibility to join up with Posti's new scheme.

Posti already home delivers meals to the elderly, and is piloting web-based food ordering services in five Finnish regions. Cool and frozen products are next on Posti's expansion list.

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