People by PostNord 2_2021 English

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#2 2021

Jill of all trades Why Nina doesn’t shirk from dirty work. And preferably rocking a rockabilly frock. “It’s like a scene from Jaws” page 66.

#2 2021


PostNorders in this issue: Jacob reinvents the wheel, Åsa mends a broken heart and Marko lets his emotions take over. Plus 181 more.

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Find your nearest dealer on


Energy consumption, mixed driving, 18.1-20.7 kWh/100 km.




each other

→ Åsa was sitting and studying outside her apartment when mail carrier Anders brought her mail. It was love at first delivery and they became partners and workmates soon afterwards. Kirsi and Marko worked at different PostNord offices. An operator playing cupid kept connecting their calls and eventually they became a couple. PostNord is brimming with big-hearted people, so it's no wonder they sometimes get together. In this issue, we take the pulse of some of them. * The editorial staff draws highly unscientific conclusions on topics that bring PostNorders together, based on the interviews in the magazine.

Source: NASA

Where are the news sections? People by PostNord is a magazine about PostNord’s employees. If you have access to the intranet c/o PostNord, you will find news and information there. You can follow us on Instagram @peoplebypostnord


Showing what we're made of The robust rise in e-commerce in the Nordics is a great opportunity for PostNord. Particularly over the last couple of years, when people couldn't go out and had to get deliveries to their door. We've really had the chance to show what we're made of. The growth in e-commerce is, however, also a challenge. The work environment is increasingly important when terminals are busy. That’s why PostNord Sweden has launched a major work environment project, which you can read about on pages 40–43. We visit the Toftanäs terminal in Malmö, where Anel, Max and Vera are testing heavy-lifting equipment. “Various tools can make it easier, but the most important thing by far is to think about technique, train your body and take care of your shoulders and back”, says group leader Anel Hodzic in the article. E-commerce also creates M A L I N N O RD É N sustainability challenges. In fact, about Editor in Chief, People by PostNord 30 percent of what we typically transport is just air. In Finland, PostNord has invested in a machine that removes the unnecessary air out of parcels, creating space to transport more packages. The new automation line is located in Turku and can process up to 900 parcels per hour. On page 28, Jussi Broberg, head of PostNord’s TPL unit in Finland, talks about the investment. In this issue of People by PostNord, you’ll also find a cat rescuer, a crocheting truck driver, three couples who found love at work, a science fiction movie fanatic, a car lover in a dress and a book blogger. All PostNorders and all unique. Happy reading!

OSLO. Waheid Aslam is photographed by Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien. See the result on page 13.

VARBERG. Nina Ivesand and Lukas the lamb get ready in front of Freddy Billqvist’s camera. Page 18.

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PEOPLE BY POSTNORD Editor in Chief: Malin Nordén National editors: Robert Långström and Malin Dahlberg (SE), Michael Kirkeby (DK), Tea Manninen (FI) and Sigurd Bjerke (NO). Design: Andreas Wirf Language Coordinator: Louise Holpp. Other contributors: Josephine Carr, Grethe-­Birgitte Friis Jakobsen, Salla Virkkunen, Rebecka Mathers, Haakon Nikolai Olsen and Fredrik Arvidsson. Production: Spoon Printing: V-TAB Email:



Ever wished you were taller? Then go into space. Your body feels weighty here on Earth because gravity presses your spine and knees together. We are about a centimeter taller in the morning than in the evening. But astronauts get the chance to really stretch out. Without gravity in space, they can be several centimeters taller when they land back on Earth. Then they gradually shrink and eventually return to their normal height.




Jens Ejnar turns off the lights at the movie theater.


Vera awards grades.


Nina shovels shit.


Monica keeps things in order.


Agim falls about laughing.

​48 Johan and Sara reminisce.


Jacob embraces pedal power.



INDEX We e in featur ue this iss

We are interviewed:

Agim Mehani 16 Anel Hodzic 40 Arne Andersson 30 Charles Justine 6 Conny Olsson 9 Daniel Hållström 25 David Juan Møbjerg Frost 63 Espen Nielsen 51 Florence Tönnäng 62 Hilde Nielsen 51 Ivan Kjellenberg 54 Jacob Pedersen 22 Jasmina Music 40 Jens Ejnar Iversen 64 Jeppe Tang Sørensen 44 Johan Almqvist 48 Johan Engström 38 Julia Zivanovic 26 Jussi Broberg 28 Kaja Kvam Jenssen 63 Karolina Jonsson 10 Kirsi Huhtakangas 52 Line Børsting 11 Lisa Bratt 11 Marko Huhtakangas 52 Martina Smedman 52

Mathias Krümmel 43 Max Malmgren 40 Mikkel Skjødt 34 Miko Liikanen 62 Monica Bastos 36 Nina Ivesand 18 Pauliina Murtola 31 Pär Johansson 38 Robert Gorosch 56 Sanda Gagic 14 Sara Georén 48 Sari Eronen 11 Sofie Skadal 11 Stefan Winbo 12 Susanna Davensjö 11 Terese Ström 26 Thomas Otterlund 12 Tuomo Seppänen 57 Ulf Jakobsson 66 Vera Nilsson 40 Victoria Rummelhoff 32 Waheid Aslam 13 Zekrulah Ahmadi 24 Åsa Holmgren 40 Åsa Ottosson 58

We are mentioned: Anders Jørpeland Anders Ottosson Andreas Berggren Andreas Talstad Heen Anja Hye Fischer Ann-Kristin Prim Anna Lundqvist Anna Pietarila Anna-Karin Kindberg Anne Beate B. Ytterli Annika Lundqvist Armando Basco Arne Refvik Helle Asko Rahikkala Bengt Löf Bent Vejrum Björn Spångberg Bo Seiffert Carin Blom Carina Fagerli-Nielsen Carsten Dahl Christian Glad Filtenborg David Magne Vikås Douglas Dapaah-Agyemang Elmar Maranan Elmeri Hakala Erik Jobs


51 59 49 51 23 62 18 52 49 51 49 6 51 52 62 23 54 63 30 23 65 63 51 52 6 6 9

Erik Rehnberg Eva Agarsson Fedja Imocanin Flemming Wollbrink Fredrik Lindberg Geir Tore Gulla Gunilla Johansson Haakon Nikolai Olsen Hannu Järvelä Hans Ankergård Karolin Hans Högdin Hasse Nilsson Helle Vendeltorp-Pommer Henrik Corin Henrik Falkengren Håkan Lindberg Håkan Olsson Ivan Paguirigan Jacob Nelson Jan Ifverström Jan Zweygbergk Jenny Bergqvist Jens Thomsen Jerker Måntelius Jerremie Valdrez Jesper Stensgaard Jimmy Olsen Simonsen

37 14 54 65 16 51 49 33 57 23 62 49 63 62 16 16 18 6 63 39 28 10 63 54 6 34 46

Joakim Ohlsson Johan Parmfjord Johanna Esberg Jonathan Ekelund June Hermansen Jörgen Johansson Jørgen Larsen Kaj Jensen Kelvin Luong Kim Sartor Kit Mathiasen Kjetil Rønning Klas Ziegler Laila Dolmeyer Lars Persson Lasse Jensen Leif Göran Kempe Lena Ahlert Lene Rosenkrantz Linda Johansson Linda Johansson Linnéa Netz Marcus Gustafsson Maria Korban Maria Mossestad Marianne Støvne Marita Andersson

16 62 49 49 51 59 23 34 63 34 65 51 39 46 40 23 9 62 63 26 62 49 10 33 63 33 10

Marko Lyhty Martin Norling Martina Falk Mats Hedlund Mats Lekman Matti Upas Micke Holm Mika Ruuth Monika Pascolo Niklas Liikanen Niko Luokkanen Nikolaj Settnes Oskari Kauranne Palle Jørgensen Patrik Källberg Patrik Ågren Pekka Hakala Peter Hesslin Peter Ladegaard Andersen Peter Petersen Peter Stiernspetz Peter Wikén Puvi Panchalingam Ranier Bautista Reynaldo Velez Richard Nilsson Riku Vuontisjärvi

28 63 26 62 63 52 59 54 37 62 57 63 28 23 18 49 6 30 23 65 62 9 65 63 6 54 28

Roger Gröning Roy Anders Frilund Runar Steen Ruth Larshus Saara Lehtinen Sidsel Holm Larsen Sonja Heikkilä Stefan Andreasson Suzanne Ax Taina Selnak Teija Helén Thomas Schroll Jensen Tone Tøvik Toni Mäkelä Trine Klink Pedersen Tronn Flittie Ulf Johansson Ulf Wiik Uno Asker Urban Olin Valy Afshar Viktor Sjöström Vladimir Jankovic Younes Azouggarh

59 51 33 51 52 63 31 18 62 51 52 46 51 28 65 51 16 59 49 49 25 25 37 63



“The best version of myself” “MY BROTHER, mother and I moved from the Philippines to Finland in 2018. When I got here, I didn’t go out much. I’m not particularly sociable. I’m not keen on crowds, so I often stayed at home in my room when I wasn’t working. I’ve been inspired by music ever since I was a kid – but it was in my bedroom that I started to get serious about music. I needed to express my feelings, to find a channel for doing that, so I started creating beats and lyrics. It lifted me up me when I felt down. Now I can express emotions that I couldn’t


before. My music and my job at the Vantaa warehouse has helped me become the person I am today: the best version of myself. I’ve created everything in my music, from lyrics to mixing, in my bedroom, so you could say it’s a special place for me. My artist name is Rudeus. I don’t want to label my music, but the best way to describe it is a mix of emo-rock and hip-hop. I hope my music will inspire others to pick themselves up if they’re feeling down; make them think that they can cope with anything, even if it's just one person. Even if I inspire just one person.”


Closest colleagues: “There are many, but for example Jerremie Valdrez, Reynaldo Velez, Armando Basco, Elmar Maranan, Ivan Paguirigan, Elmeri Hakala and Pekka Hakala.”


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Pick up

Cheerleaders, vital text messages and bucket-list books. “Pick up” offers quick glimpses at PostNord’s world on pages 9–13. TEXT: MALIN DAHLBERG PHOTO: ANNA BJÖRKEGREN

Conny Olsson Position at PostNord: Driver in Borlänge, Sweden. Started right after leaving school in 1986. Closest colleagues: “I’m closest to Leif Göran Kempe; we’ve worked together since the 1980s. Erik Jobs and Peter Wikén are also good fellow drivers.”


“I had no idea about my nickname” Not only does Conny Olsson solve most problems, he has also become a customer favorite, with his broad smile and as his characteristic greeting. IT TAKES Conny Olsson about five minutes to bike from home in Borlänge, Sweden to work. And he has done it thousands of times in his 30 years as a PostNord driver. At the terminal, he loads his truck and drives pallets and parcels between Vansbro, Malung and Sälen. ONE COMPANY THAT stands out on Conny's route is Lyko. They have been on a fantastic trajectory, from a small-scale mail order operation to selling beauty products throughout the Nordics. Each time they've outgrown their premises, they've moved to a larger warehouse, but one thing has remained constant: Conny Olsson’s transport work. “Twenty years ago, we picked up one or


two shopping carts with packages at the back of a hair salon”, says Conny. Today, my colleagues and I handle two trucks a day of goods and parcels from Lyko.” “Tjingeling, Olsson is here!” is Conny’s usual cheery greeting when he enters the warehouse in Vansbo, a phrase that has stuck. One of the founders, Stefan Lyko, wrote a little tribute on on the company's LinkedIn page: “Tjingeling as he’s known, has been with Lyko during all our years in business. I’ve never seen him grumpy or cranky. A real ray of sunshine and a good representative for PostNord.” “Wow, such nice words”, says Conny, who had no idea he'd been given a nickname. “You don't hear that very often.

I usually say that no news is good news.” Are you always happy? “Well, I don't know about that. My partner, she says I’m on an even keel, my mood doesn’t go up or down. But when I’m working, I think it’s important to leave my grumpiness at home.” Maybe it’s his leisure time that makes him even-tempered. After taking his blue uniform off, Conny pulls on a pair of frayed canvas trousers and a beanie with welding holes and goes into his carpenter's shed. “I have to keep my hands busy all the time”, says Conny. “That's just the way it is.” There's nothing better than cutting, welding, carving and soldering. It makes me feel calm.”



On books and boulevards Book parcels always spark her curiosity. They've even made her a friend for life. Karolina Jonsson passionately discusses literature in her book blog. SHE LEAVES KATRINEHOLM, drives towards Flen and on through rural Södermanland County in Sweden. She listens to everything from her favorite, Avicii, to classical music as she travels between houses and farms. Karolina Jonsson also enjoys the peace and quiet of the van. And she likes to deliver long-awaited letters and parcels. Not least when it comes to consignments that appear to contain books. “I get really curious and think ‘lucky them, I wonder what they have ordered?’” BOOKS HAVE BEEN ONE of Karolina’s major interests since her teens. At times in her life, she has read three books a week. After completing her 150 km rural mail carrier route, she devotes her time to literature. When she finishes a book, she writes a review on her blog “Jonssons Book World” and on Instagram.


“It’s fun to recommend good books to others. I wish more young people would read more. You find a whole new sense of calm if you switch off your phone for a while and get away from the distractions of social media.” BEING A MAIL CARRIER has actually helped Karolina meet like-minded people. “I delivered mail to a woman’s house and noticed that she received many parcels of books, often from publishers. I finally asked her about it and it turned out we both wrote about books on Instagram. So that’s how we discovered each other and we’ve since become friends.” ONE DREAM IS to write something herself in the future – perhaps with inspiration from her work. “I’ve already got my idea and a unique subject. I’m keeping what it’s about to myself for now...”

Karolina’s top three book tips


Tracy Chevalier: “Girl with a Pearl Earring” “An incredible novel; the only book I have read twice and can imagine reading a third time. There’s something about the story that draws you in and is so beautiful.”


Christoffer Carlsson: “Blaze me a sun” “Fantastic use of language! A name to remember. He is becoming, or perhaps already is, one of Sweden’s best authors.”


Jojo Moyes: “After You” “You mustn’t miss it! So heartbreaking, lovely and funny. Everyone was talking about it when it was published and the accolades poured in for good reason.”



Karolina Jonsson Position at PostNord: Rural mail carrier in Katrineholm, Sweden. Closest colleagues: Jenny Bergqvist, Marita Andersson and Marcus Gustafsson. “They are always there for me.”

More book tips! The Power by Naomi Alderman “If you are interested in power relations and alternative realities, this is a book for you! The Power is set in a future where young women all over the world wake up one day with a superpower: they can shoot electricity from their hands. This turns the balance of power upside down as women suddenly become physically superior to men. As readers, we get to see what this change could mean for society. It is, at least for me, a captivating book that helps to create very interesting contemplation.” Lisa Bratt, HR Generalist, PostNord Strålfors, Sweden.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare “I recommend any book by Cassandra Clare. This is a fantasy written in a light and captivating way. Otherwise, I’m a real fan of detective stories. Danish author Dennis Jürgensen has written a series about the investigator Roland Triel – it’s exciting reading.” Line Børsting, parcel distributor in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “I'm trying to read all the books on the BBC’s ‘100 books to read before you die’ list and have so far finished 19 of them. I’ve just completed the Sherlock Holmes series of books and was surprised at how compelling the stories are. I listened to half of them as audiobooks totaling more than 150 hours, but I was hooked. Actor Stephen Fry was the narrator and he makes it all come alive.” Sofie Skadal, Communications Advisor, Oslo, Norway.

Daughters of Barkhe by Bodil Mårtensson “If you like Swedish history, or the city of Helsingborg, ‘Daughters of Barkhe’ by Bodil Mårtensson is a good read. The book is set in the Swedish province of Skåne in the mid-17th century, where the sheriff Frans Barkhe needs a son after five daughters to maintain his position in society. If you get hooked, you can also read the sequels ‘Son of Barkhe’ and ‘Cross of Barkhe’. Susanna “Syrsan” Davensjö, mail carrier in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Evil eye by J. Pekka Mäkelä “I have always loved books. No wonder I fell in love with an author. We have been married for over 20 years and I have been able to follow my husband’s work closely. It’s a miracle how he can develop a novel of several hundred pages and keep track of all the threads and characters. Every time a new book is published, I’m surprised by what’s been going on in his head. His latest novel has elements of magic, with the protagonist having the ability to do evil deeds with the power of thought – hence the title ‘Evil eye’.” Sari Eronen, Specialist Digital Communication, ­Helsinki, Finland. PEOPLE BY POSTNORD




A vital language machine Electronic Data Interchange, EDI, is the technology that allows customers’ business systems to talk to each other. Without it, grocery store shelves would be empty. in the 1980s →       Started As the first embryos of digitalization emerged, more and more companies began shifting to IT systems for order processing and invoicing. The only problem? Different industries often used different “system languages”. In some cases this made it difficult for sellers and buyers to communicate with each other.

key coordinator →       The The rapid development in the “Stone Age” of digitalization increased the need for an external party. Someone who could automate and convey structured business communication in a way that everyone understood. “With EDI technology, our industry could speak any language”, says Stefan Winbo, Nordic Product Manager at PostNord Strålfors.

text messages →       Automatic The technology is not only used as a kind of message service to exchange ­electronic information between commerce systems. Logistics is another key area. When your parcel arrives at a distribution point, PostNord Strålfors will ensure that you receive a text message or notification when your parcel is ready for collection.


key function in society →       A Today, PostNord Strålfors handles EDI flows for several important companies in society such as ICA, ABB and Nordea. This is within the framework of the “Business Integration Management” service. It is not very difficult to imagine how a worst-case scenario could wreak havoc. Technical glitches would quickly impact a number of essential functions in society.

rash = chaos →       C “If Strålfors’ services stopped working,

Thomas Otterlund, Nordic Product Manager at PostNord Strålfors.

grocery store shelves would stay empty. Or the distribution points would overflow with uncollected parcels. It is a possible scenario, but we’re doing everything to ensure that it never happens”, says Thomas Otterlund, Product Manager at PostNord Strålfors.

onitoring 24/7 →       M PostNord Strålfors works proactively to secure server capacity Stefan Winbo explains: “We monitor our entire platform 24/7, with alarms that go off if something happens. We also secure capacity for special logistics events. Take Black Friday, for example, when stoppages simply must not occur. We free up extra resources at such times to make sure the systems can handle the pressure.”

Stefan Winbo, Nordic Product Manager at PostNord Strålfors.




47% Attractive new premises “At the moment, my mind is mostly preoccupied with finishing the renovation of the premises in Alfaset and the mezzanine in the terminal. We’re making good progress. The premises are very important for wellbeing in the workplace. If they are attractive and newly renovated, it makes coming to work even more enjoyable.”

22% Green and clean “Our target is to have at least 100 electric cars before the end of the year. This means we will need charging stations at all our existing terminals and at the new ones being built in Bergen, Drammen and Langhus. It’s a big project and I’m thinking a lot about how to do it. We are also installing solar panels on the roofs of the terminals and that takes up a lot of my time.”

31% The family and Sonic

Building for the future WAHEID ASLAM THINKS about offices, digital tools and interior design all day long. As Deputy Purchasing Manager, he is responsible for the renovation of PostNord’s headquarters in the Alfaset industrial area in Oslo. “PostNord Strålfors operates on the first floor," he says. It has just been renovated from floor to ceiling, so we then thought that the top three floors were due for a major facelift in the same style. We've been here since 1991, so it was high time.” OVER THE PAST YEAR, most employees have been working from home, but the premises are still a hive of activity. The builders are in full swing with the renovaPEOPLE BY POSTNORD

“I have two boys, aged 11 and 15 and Sonic the German shepherd, who is just over a year old. Life with kids and a dog can be hectic, especially this past year with homeschooling, a home office and a puppy in the house. It’s hard to make logistics at home run smoothly on a daily basis. Nonetheless, it’s been nice to spend a lot of time with my family.”

tions, which really boost the standard of the premises. “The project was planned before the pandemic, but we have made some changes to adapt to the authorities’ infection control requirements. There will be fewer open-plan offices and more individual offices and partitions with glass walls”, Waheid explains. IN THE BASEMENT, a TV studio for digital meetings and gatherings is under construction. “We have also renovated the mezzanine in the main terminal so that some staff can move in there. Attractive premises are very important for wellbeing in the workplace.” 13


Sanda’s systems skills People love ice cream and babies – not time reporting systems. That is, until Sanda Gagic convinces them to rethink their position. ANYONE CAN LEARN how to use a time reporting system. Almost anyone can purchase it, decide that everyone should use it and hand out passwords and manuals. But it’s hard to get people to like a time reporting system. Yet that's exactly what Sanda Gagic does all day. She is the Superuser Workforce Management. In plain English, that means she’s a whiz at using the system that PostNord TPL uses to report all working hours. What she doesn’t know about the system, which is called Quinyx, is not worth knowing. When you’re at a party and someone asks what you do, do you say “Superuser Workforce Management”? “Yes, ha ha! And then I just leave. No, but in all seriousness, I usually explain that my main


“It’s probably just part of my personality. I have always wanted to help out where I could.” 14

task is to manage our new time reporting system. I make sure we’re developing it in our intended direction. Quinyx is a standard product, but we tailor it to our needs.” Sanda goes on to explain that she is not just a superuser. She’s actually the super-­ superuser, the person who knows even more about Quinyx than her regional counterparts. “I support the regional superusers, who in turn support the authorizing managers who work directly with the system. When the regional staff encounter problems they can’t solve, they turn to me.” Her knowledge of the system is hard to question. Getting people to like a new time reporting system, however, is a totally different ballgame. People like puppies, holiday cottages, ice cream and barbecue sauce – not new ways of reporting working hours. At least, usually. “The first challenge was to get everyone to understand the benefits of the new system. But that actually went very well. Previously, we had three different systems, so it was quite easy to explain why it was good to work in a uniform way. The next challenge was to train all managers. This took place over a month, just before the system was due to be launched live. “It was a very intensive period. Long days!”

But you really seem to think that this is fun? “Yes, absolutely, it’s great fun.” So, what’s the trick to conveying this joy? Just saying ‘Hi! Now we’re going to implement a new time reporting system!’ is naturally not going to work. “No”, says Sanda, “the key is to see and understand other people’s starting point. We are all different. Some like change, others just mainly tag along. Then there are those who do not like change at all. The way to succeed is to be attentive, understand that everyone is different and that some need more support. Now all employees can use the app and see exactly how much overtime they’ve worked and how much money that corresponds to, for example.” Where does your ability stem from? “I really don’t know. I’m an only child, so I can’t say I’ve learned from a bunch of siblings. It’s probably just part of my personality. I have always wanted to help out where I could.”



Sanda Gagic Position at PostNord: Superuser Workforce Management, TPL Norrköping, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “As I started in a new department when the pandemic struck and I’ve been working from home since then, I’ve mostly been my own colleague. But I have worked with Eva Agarsson.”




Agim Mehani Position at PostNord: Supervisor for display packaging at TPL in Helsingborg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “Our boss Håkan Lindberg is the most senior manager here and also the one who hired me, so that still feels special. I also work a lot with Joakim Ohlsson, Henrik Falkengren and Ulf Johansson. Fredrik Lindberg has been my colleague for a long time; now he is a group leader at another terminal.”




“like a second family right from the start” When Agim Mehani entered PostNord premises for the first time, he finally got a sense of security back in his life. “I’ve had some of the biggest laughs of my life during ­working hours. I don't think many people can say that.” TWO DAYS ARE forever etched in Agim Mehani’s memory. Days that have been life-changing in his 55-year life. The first one was a mild September day 28 years ago, when he arrived in Sweden as a refugee with his wife and two sons from Kosovo. The second day came seven years later, when he started work as an intern at PostNord, or Nordisk Transport as it was then known. “My children were so young when we came to Sweden”, Agim says. “I wish I could play a video of that day so they could relive the memories as adults. There were probably about 400 of us who came on the same boat and we were met by extremely friendly people who gave us food and clean clothes. I immediately felt that this is a fantastic country.”

HE HAD SEVERAL temporary jobs for a number of years. At the turn of the millennium, he got an internship at PostNord. “My first day at work 21 years ago is still my best”, Agim says. “I finally felt safe and grounded again. All the managers were helpful and friendly towards me. It felt like a second family right from the start.” FAMILY, HIS REAL one, means everything to Agim. Both his sons have been educated and have found jobs. And best of all, they have expanded their family with daughters-in-law and three grandchildren, aged six and four years and nine months. Agim’s sons live a stone’s throw away from him and you can often find him with his grandkids in a sandpit in one of Helsingborg’s playgrounds.


“As soon as I get home from work, I get changed and spend time with my grandchildren”, Agim says. “I really enjoy life with them. There are no words to describe how wonderful it is to have grandkids. I may be a little overprotective, but also more tolerant of them than their parents are.”

AGIM IS LEARNING a lot all the time. Personal development is easy at work. Each morning Agim plans the packing schedule for the day. When he has finished his administrative tasks, he helps his team with warehouse work and asks how they’re doing; exactly the same way that he feels his bosses have treated him since day one. “My personal development has been the most fun thing of all”, he says. “It's such a great combination of challenging problems to solve and working with fun people at this company. I’ve had some of the biggest laughs of my life during working hours. I don’t think many people can say that!”

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT, according to Agim, As long as he gets to stay with his team, he’s happy with his job. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his children and grandchildren. “It seems a long way off, but my goal is for my grandchildren to get an education, too”, Agim says. “Right now, I mostly want to get them into hobbies, such as handball, football and dance. Perhaps I'll use the same kind of approach that I do at work: I let their interests lead and do my best to give them the opportunity to flourish. And have fun along the way.”


Nina Ivesand Position at PostNord: Production Manager in Varberg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “Patrik Källberg, Anna Lundqvist, Håkan Olsson and Stefan Andreasson. It’s the five of us against the world!”



You'll see her in hi-vis gear just as often as in rockabilly frocks. After work, Nina Ivesand relaxes by driving American cars and mucking out stables. TEXT: LINUS BRÄNNSTRÖM PHOTO: FREDDY BILLQVIST



NINA IVESAND IS not only production manager at PostNord in Varberg. She is also a moonlight farmer. She and her family live on a small coastal farm with sheep and chickens and Nina is not afraid to roll up her sleeves. “My boss usually tells me not to forget to breathe, to rest and to take it easy”, Nina says. “But I’m just the way I am. I recharge my batteries by coming home and clearing up on the farm, mucking out the stables, building and fixing things.” THE SAME APPROACH APPLIES at work. The business has to stay running – who does what is not that important. “The other day I put my wooden clogs and hi-vis gear on and blasted bird poo away with the high pressure washer. I also like to have a break from office work by going out and delivering mail from time to time; partly to show that I know the ins and outs of the business, partly to give my head a rest from the computer.” NINA IS ALSO in the process of getting her truck driver’s license to broaden her skills, but also because she is so interested in motoring. Last year, she and her husband bought a 1964 Cadillac. “As soon as the sun comes up, that’s the car we take and we put the other car aside”, she says. THE WHOLE FAMILY usually dresses up and goes to car meets. However, Nina does not want to call herself a raggare (a rocker or greaser). “To me, the Swedish term raggare means someone who messes about, drinks lager and shouts”, Nina says. We are gender equal and like cars.”

Nina’s automotive events tips

1 Wheels & Wings, Falkenberg “I live in Falkenberg and love Wheels & Wings. It's a big meet with people from all over the Nordics, organized in July every year when there is no pandemic.”

2 Gatebil, Rudskogen “It’s not a deal breaker whether there are American cars or not; any kind of cars are great. We usually go drifting at Rudskogen in Norway.”

3 Spontaneous cruising “Since coronavirus came, there’s been a lot of spontaneous cruising. Spontaneous get-togethers all the time, the whole family dresses up in the same style and off we go.”

IN CADILLAC SEASON, she sometimes wears a rockabilly dress to work. “At first, people looked at me strangely”, Nina says. I guess they thought I had gone mad. But then they started asking what kind of dress I was going to wear the next day. It’s turned into a bit of fun.”




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RESCUERS IN TIMES OF NEED All strategies to save the climate are ultimately just tools for people. We are the ones who have to implement them. Meet the PostNorders who save the world a little bit every day.

POSTNORD IS ONE OF THE LARGEST DISTRIBUTORS IN THE NORDICS. Every day, millions of parcels and letters are transported to businesses and recipients. Transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions account for the largest portion of the company’s environmental impact. Across the business, initiatives large and small are underway to cut fossil-fuel use and emissions. This can mean filling up with the renewable diesel HVO100 instead of fossil diesel, electrifying the fleet, training drivers in eco-driving, or reducing unnecessary air in parcels. Recently, PostNord reached its goal of reducing its climate impact by 40 percent. By 2030, the company's goal is to be completely fossil free. The people who are making this happen in their everyday lives include Terese, Zekrulah, Jacob, Jussi, Julia and Daniel – and you can meet them here.





“We’re developing the optimal bicycle” New electric cargo bikes will halve the number of diesel vehicle transports driving to depots in Danish towns and cities. Jacob Pedersen is looking for the best bike on the market. SOMETIMES YOU need to reinvent the wheel. Luckily, in Jacob Pedersen’s case, it’s just a matter of moving it to the back of the bike. “We call our new bicycles cargo bikes”, he says. “Unlike the old bicycles, they have one wheel at the front and two at the back. This means that they have space for 50 percent more letters and maxi letters. Transporting to depots in towns and cities via diesel vehicles will be halved.”


JACOB IS THE FLEET MANAGER responsible for PostNord’s Danish fleet. It consists of an impressive array of vehicles: some 3,000 vans, light trucks and trailers, 700 heavy trucks and 250 mopeds – as well as the company’s 900 electric tricycles, which have become quite worn out over the years and need replacing. “It’s part of our green transition and, just as important, we want to find the best bike on the market that suits mail carriers in their daily work.” ON SOME ROUTES, colleagues are testing cargo bikes from two different suppliers. It’s a lot to think


about: Is the bike too heavy, does it sway, do the handlebars shake, are you sitting comfortably, is it easy to reach the mail? “We’re sending all this information to both suppliers, so they can develop the optimum bicycle”, Jacob says. “We've already tested one of the bikes for a short time, but the test

was stopped to further improve the bike.” JACOB HAS BEEN working at PostNord since he started as a Saturday temp at just 18. During his 21 years as a postal employee, he has had a variety of assignments alongside achieving a business administration degree in Supply Chain Management. The degree is a solid foundation to have when keeping track of thousands of vehicles. It was also useful when Jacob hired craftsmen to build his family’s new house in the village of Ejby – just over half an hour away by car, south of Copenhagen. “My job at PostNord is almost easier”, he says with a smile. “My girlfriend Christina and I designed the house ourselves and I had to act as construction manager, but I never imagined that it would be so difficult to coordinate the different craftsmen. Fortunately, the house will be finished soon, so we won’t have to stay with my mother-in-law anymore.” Are you staying at your mother-in-law’s? “Yes, for a little while longer”, Jacob laughs. “It’s fine, but I think she’s also looking forward to the house being ready soon. We have three children aged seven to eleven and a large cat, who is not very aptly named Peanut. We take up quite a lot of space. By the way, she’s not formally my real mother-in-law until Christina and I get married – and we’ll do that when our dream house is ready. So, we’ve a lot to look forward to.”


Jacob Pedersen Position at PostNord: Fleet Manager, Copenhagen, Denmark. Closest colleagues: Peter Ladegaard Andersen, Lasse Jensen, Jørgen Larsen, Palle Jørgensen, Bent Vejrum, Carina Fagerli-Nielsen, Anja Hye Fischer and Hans Ankergård Karolin.





“Of course I want to hand over a world with clean air” Every day, Zekrulah Ahmadi drives an extra 20 kilometers or so for the sake of the environment. He and his colleagues have increased the proportion of fossilfree diesel in their tanks by 43 percent. AT 5 a.m., Zekrulah Ahmadi enters the drivers’ room at the terminal in Växjö, southern Sweden. He fetches his work phone and truck keys. He transports medicines so he has to make sure that the temperature in the truck is just right, about five degrees. Zekrulah likes the variety of driving, loading and unloading. But between delivering parcels to Alvesta, pharmacy goods to Älmhult and candy to grocery stores in Växjö, he occasionally drives to Norremark to fill up with renewable diesel, known as HVO100. “It wasn’t a given from the start as it is a 40-minute detour every day”, ­Zekrulah says. “But when you think about the difference it makes, it feels right. Of course I want to hand over a world of clean air to the next generation.”


IF THERE WERE more filling stations offering HVO100 in the area, there wouldn’t be any problems. Instead, there’s now a lot of work in piecing together the puzzle of times and streamlining work schedules and, not least, there’s a strong desire on the part of all drivers to be able to fill up with fossil-free fuel. The first target was 20 percent fossil-free diesel in the terminal’s trucks, then 40 percent. Now that goal has been reached, Zekrulah thinks the bar should be raised to 60–70 percent. “Many people think it’s cool that we’ve 24

come this far in such a short time and I’m incredibly proud of us”, Zekrulah says. “But we can only do what we can; we need more HVO100 stations, too.” ZEKRULAH CAME TO Sweden just six years ago as an unaccompanied refugee from Afghanistan at 17. He says his Swedish is so good because he has been motivated to study from the outset and has studied hard. After completing the transport program at upper secondary school, his first transport jobs were in waste collection. Since October 2020, he has been a PostNord driver. The job has made him think more about the environment in general. “It can be small things like not having to turn on the light in the break room if it’s still light enough”, says Zekrulah. “I try to bear in mind that I should only buy what I need – which is also good for my finances.” IN THE FUTURE, he hopes to be assigned more responsibility and be able to continue his climate work: “I want to get a towing license and maybe become a supervisor in the future. I’m determined to do better so that we can achieve our goals. One day we will be completely fossil-free and I will have contributed to a better environment.” PEOPLE BY POSTNORD



“This is an important issue for society” Replacing old computers with new ones ­increases our environmental impact. Daniel Hållström recycles IT-equipment and helps both the environment and people. A MOBILE PHONE or computer looks innocent. But if handled incorrectly, it doesn’t just emit carbon dioxide into our world; it also leaves blood on our hands. “Sustainable IT is not just about carbon emissions here in Sweden; it's also about the impact we have on the world around us”, says Daniel Hållström, IT Manager at PostNord Strålfors in Sweden.


Zekrulah Ahmadi Position at PostNord: Driver in Växjö, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “I spend a lot of time with my colleague Valy Afshar. We go to the gym after work and give each other advice when needed.”


POSTNORD HAS implemented a large-scale IT recycling project in collaboration with IT management company 3StepIT. Daniel is responsible for Strålfors’ part in the project. Old hardware is collected for reuse or is securely destroyed. “With our previous system you had to send the old unit to a central collection point”, says Daniel. “We now collect all hardware for recycling locally, where it is picked up by 3StepIT. This also benefits the environment thanks to the simplified logistics.” Much remains to be done, for instance, regarding natural resources such as tin and tungsten. These metals are great at conducting and storing energy and are therefore used in many IT components. Unfortunately, they are also some of the best known examples of ‘conflict ­minerals’. These metals are mined in conflict zones and finance wars. So, there are not just good environmental reasons for better recycling of technical equipment; there are humane ones, too. DANIEL HAS BEEN interested in technology since his schooldays: “When I was in secondary school, I found

IT operations appealing. I wanted to understand how computers, networks and servers were connected. That’s why I trained as a technician. One thing led to another and suddenly one day I had a job in IT.” When he first entered the industry in the early 1990s, the focus was on embracing all new technologies. In recent years, awareness of the climate footprint has increased. “Today, our customers naturally demand that we can measure the climate impact of IT products”, says Daniel. HOWEVER, SUSTAINABLE IT is not just about measuring carbon emissions. And it’s not just about recycling projects in companies. We can all do more. “Everyone has to take a look at themselves”, he says. “Did I do the right thing with my old hardware, or did I just throw it in the trash? This is an important issue for society.”

Daniel Hållström Position at PostNord: IT Manager at PostNord Strålfors, Stockholm, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “Viktor Sjöström is a person I have great confidence in and he is always a good sounding board. He’s also a nice pal to have lunch with.”



Terese Ström and Julia Zivanovic


“We develop and learn so much in our role”

Position at PostNord: Process, Quality and Environmental Coordinators at PostNord Strålfors, Ljungby, Sweden. Closest colleagues: ”Our closest colleagues on the team are Martina Falk and Linda Johansson. We support each other in our daily work because together we can do much more!"

A major customer wanted to ensure that the paper they were using was sustainable. So Terese Ström and Julia Zivanovic put their heads together. TERESE STRÖM AND Julia Zivanovic not only share job titles as Process, Quality and Environmental Coordinators at PostNord Strålfors. They also enjoy the variety their work provides. “The best thing about the job is that it is so broad”, Julia says. “One day we’re investigating incidents that have affected our customers, the next we’re conducting a supplier audit or managing projects.” Her colleague agree. “We develop and learn so much in our role”, Terese says. “We do some kind of problem solving in all our fields of work.”


purchase to invoice”, Julia says. This enables you to see that the raw material used for our paper products comes from FSC-labelled, sustainable forests.” THE PROJECT STARTED with a feasibility study in 2019. Thanks to the fact that Strålfors already has established procedures through other environmental and quality certifications, they were able to implement the FSC certification soon afterwards, in December 2020. Now the colleagues in the department must ensure compliance. “During the project, we have worked to ensure the traceability process, applied it and trained staff”, Terese says.

“You pay more attention to environmental perspectives when you work with them every day and you take that knowledge home with you in a different way.”

ONE OF THEIR latest projects together – in cooperation with a major Swedish furniture company – was to certify Strålfors’ operations against Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. FSC is an independent membership organization that promotes environmentally adapted forestry. A company must conduct a strict review of its procedures to quality for FSC certification. “The most important requirement is to be able to apply a traceability process from


HOWEVER, Strålfors and the Swedish furniture company are not the only actors that have become more climate-smart thanks to the FSC project; Terese and Julia have, too. “You pay more attention to environmental perspectives when you work with them every day and you take that knowledge home with you in a different way”, Julia explains. Terese agrees: “I didn’t know what FSC labelling was before I started working on this project. Now I see it everywhere when I go in shops.”






“We won’t achieve the goal by snapping our fingers” Jussi Broberg’s machine removes unnecessary air out of parcels, reducing them in size by on average 30 percent. This could help to cut the number of truck journeys by 100 per year. ON OCCASION, Finland by 30 percent, in theory you have probably that would reduce transportawondered why the tiny, tion by up to 100 trucks per weeny product you year.” ordered is delivered in a gigantic parcel. JUSSI SAYS THREE main You’re not alone, many factors determined the others do, too. purchase of the new technology: PostNord transports millions of parcels every quality, environment and year. As the packages are often of standard cost-efficiency. PostNord is a size, a large volume of unused space, i.e., air, major player and with this new is also transported. technology it can pave the But that’s about to change. way for others in the industry. PostNord Finland has invested in new “We have a central role in technology to eliminate dead space in creating environmentally parcels. friendly solutions”, he says. “It’s a state-of-the-art device that “PostNord’s goal is to be optimizes and minimizes packaging size”, completely fossil-free by 2030. says Jussi Broberg, head of PostNord’s TPL unit in Helsinki. “There can be a lot of dead space in the packaging because the goods are often so varied in shape. In practice, packaging size can be reduced by on average about 30 → The technology can percent!” handle up to 900 But how does this technology actually parcels an hour. work? “The goods are packed in cardboard boxes as usual, but are then transferred to a completely new line. The device measures the filling level of the packaging and minimizes the packaging’s size. There is no empty space left and no need for fillers, such as plastic, cardboard, or paper.”


Jussi Broberg Position at PostNord: Head of the TPL Unit in Helsinki, Finland. Closest colleagues: Toni Mäkelä, Marko Lyhty, Jan Zweygbergk, Riku Vuontisjärvi and Oskari Kauranne.

We won’t achieve that by ­snapping our fingers, but by implementing several measures here and there.” “Transportation is of great importance. If we can reduce it by a hundred trucks a year, it will really make a difference. If the measure is implemented in many places at once, we’ll suddenly be able to reduce trucks by the thousands.”

THE NEW automation line is in Turku and covers about 200 square meters. It can process up to 900 parcels an hour. “Parcel volumes are now so high that no one has time or resources to do this manually”, Jussi says. “If we managed to reduce the size of all parcels we handle in



The Guide

E-shock! E-commerce has exploded and PostNord is in the midst of this boom. Six employees talk about their new work situation.

30 34

What Arne doesn’t know about e-commerce isn’t worth knowing.

Mikkel can pack a van as tightly as in a game of Tetris.

31 36

Pauliina is building a brand new parcel network in Finland.

Monica keeps a very unique partner outlet in order.

32 38

Victoria is shaking up the e-commerce market in Norway.

Mail carrier Johan got his truck driver’s license, switched jobs and loves it.

See pictures and videos! Follow us on Instagram #peoplebypostnord



Arne Andersson Position at PostNord: Consulting e-commerce expert at PostNord, Stockholm, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “I work very closely with Peter Hesslin. We have almost daily conversations about how to take PostNord’s e-commerce offering to new heights. Another close colleague is Carin Blom, who is responsible for our Compass logistics network.”



The Guide


What Arne Andersson doesn’t know about e-commerce isn’t worth knowing. He's always on the look out for future trends. Here are three of them. TEXT: MALIN DAHLBERG PHOTO: MAGNUS GLANS ANY SWEDISH e-retailers who haven’t heard of Arne Andersson have probably been living under a rock for the past few years. Everyone knows who Arne is. He is the father of the E-barometer consumer survey, which has become a Swedish industry mainstay. He has been involved in most aspects of online shopping since its first tentative steps were taken in the late 1990s. “I’ve been involved since the first home computers and saw the internet’s potential early on. But I could never have imagined the enormous impact it would have on PostNord”, says Arne when talking about e-commerce's explosive growth in the Nordics in recent years. Today, he knows everything about e-commerce. We asked Arne for examples of trends that will affect it in the future.


important part of the development by making it easy for people to send and receive parcels.”


Directly to consumers without passing Go

Companies that previously sold their products via traditional retailers have discovered that setting up your own webshop and selling directly to the end consumers works just as well. It’s not just about saving time and money, but also about control. “Consumers are becoming more and more selective and demand relevant information. If the products go through a retailer, the company loses some of the control. It’s simply a question of who has the power over customer communications. Anyone who wants to make relevant offers and build loyalty needs to communicate directly with their customers.”

“I’ve been involved since the first home computers and saw the internet’s potential early on.”


Second hand is here to stay

Sustainability is the new black. We recycle, patch up and mend and grow produce on our balconies. Teamed with digitalization, this has paved the way for a new popular movement. Second-hand goods are sold online like never before. Either through classic second-hand sites like Blocket and Tradera, upstarts like Sellpy, Trendsales and Reshopper, or buy and sell groups on Facebook. In Sweden, PostNord’s parcel service for individuals “Skicka lätt” soared by 80 percent in 2020. “This will continue to grow and PostNord is an



Crucial logistics

When e-commerce was in its infancy, people didn’t think much about logistics. Transporting from A to B was required and it could take weeks to get a parcel delivered. Today, logistics are crucial to the customer experience and consumers demand fast, seamless deliveries with plenty of choice. “This has made the world a complex place for both retailers and logistics companies. We need to provide home deliveries, partner outlet deliveries and parcel boxes and we need to maintain incredibly high quality. Every mistake risks turning into a grumpy comment on social media. We have simply become the most important competitive tool for e-retailers.”

Pauliina is bringing Finland its very own parcel network Amid increasing competition, PostNord Finland is investing in its own distribution points. Pauliina Murtola is the person making this happen. PAULIINA HAS WORKED at PostNord in Finland since 2015. Her latest assignment: to create a service-oriented network of distribution points in Turku and Tampere. Work began in April and is due to be completed by Black Friday. “The world is changing and we need to be flexible enough to change with it.” Pauliina says. “Competition in the parcel market is fierce and to be a significant future player in Finland, we need to have our own network.” ALTHOUGH SHE SHOULDERS the responsibility for the network, cooperation with colleagues is one of the keys to success. “It has meant a lot to me to realize that I can count on support, even in difficult situations”, she says. “I believe that a compassionate atmosphere is conducive to change and development.” PAULIINA ALSO COLLABORATES with various corporate partners, but focuses on the end users of the service. “It's easy to identify with consumers because we all have the experience of online shopping and parcel delivery and what works well and what doesn't”, she says. “The most rewarding aspect is to be able to make a difference.” TEXT: LAURA IISALO

Pauliina Murtola Position at PostNord: Product owner of the delivery network, PostNord Finland. Closest colleagues: Sonja Heikkilä


The Guide

THE UPSTART Victoria Rummelhoff is one of the brains behind PostNord’s success in Norway. “You really have to be on your toes.” TEXT: SISSEL FANTOFT PHOTO: BENJAMIN A. WARD IN NORWAY, PostNord is an upstart. In 2014, eight Norwegian companies joined forces to form PostNord Norway to compete with the market giant: the Norwegian postal service. “When there is already a big competitor and many highly aggressive smaller players, you really have to be on your toes”, says market analyst and online retail expert Victoria Rummelhoff. “You have to actively focus on innovation, make good investments and listen to what customers and consumers want. Reputation is also important because consumers are the market drivers. This is even more significant when competing against a player with a historically strong position in the Norwegian market.”


“As a market analyst, I work with external factors that might affect PostNord. We’re talking macroeconomic trends, altered shopping habits and the competitive landscape of the industry. I was asked many questions about whether the pandemic would come here and how it would affect us. That’s why I closely followed developments in China and elsewhere.” AS ONLINE TRADING has grown rapidly, it has become an increasingly important part of Victoria’s work. The June edition of the Norwegian E-barometer, the Netthandels­ barometer, showed that more than half of all Norwegians want to continue shopping online as much or more when society opens up again. “When shops and shopping malls fully reopen there may be an initial rush, until people discover that online shopping has its advantages after all”, she says.

“We’re proud of the product developments of the past year. Both our launch of contactless home deliveries and parcel machines.”

VICTORIA MOVED HOME to Norway in the summer of 2019 after studying in Australia for eight years. That same autumn, she joined PostNord. “I’ve always found the transport and logistics industry exciting because it’s a link between different markets”, Victoria says. “You can’t have a chain store or e-commerce without someone transporting your goods from A to B.” SHE LOVES WORKING in an industry that is such a crucial part of the whole. Back in February 2020, she realized that the coronavirus would have a major impact in Norway as well.


ACCORDING TO VICTORIA, the future lies in smart solutions for consumer-driven logistics: “In recent years, consumers have become more empowered as they can choose a delivery company when shopping online. It’s therefore important to focus on consumer-driven logistics and large terminal capacity. This is crucial for competitiveness. That’s why we’re proud of the product developments of the past year. Both our launch of contactless home deliveries and parcel machines.”


Victoria Rummelhoff Position at PostNord: Market analyst and e-commerce expert, Oslo, Norway. Closest colleagues: Runar Steen, Marianne Støvne, Maria Korban and Haakon Nikolai Olsen.



Mikkel Skjødt Position at PostNord: Van driver in Aarhus, Denmark. Closest colleagues: Kaj Jensen, Kim Sartor and Jesper Stensgaard.



The Guide

MASTER PACKER “Who can pack a mail van as efficiently as in a game of Tetris?” the boss once asked. Everyone pointed to Mikkel Skjødt. TEXT: MICHAEL KIRKEBY PHOTO: MORTEN GERMUND

WHEN HIS FAMILY GOES on holiday, Mikkel Skjødt is always the one who packs their bags in the car. He is also always the one who fills the dishwasher at home. And of course, Mikkel is the best at getting all the parcels into the vans that set off from PostNord’s center in Aarhus, Denmark. “I’m not a fanatic, but I like things to be neat and tidy”, he says. “It's effective and you can relax more. That way, you make things easier for yourself.”


organized the parcels are, the faster we can complete our rounds. The parcels being delivered last must be packed first and you have to make sure that you pack them well. Almost all parcels are quadrangular and must therefore be packed to form quadrangles and avoid ‘crooked’ gaps. How hard can it really be?” MIKKEL USUALLY COMES home from work before the kids get home from school. He really appreciates that: “It’s worth its weight in gold and that’s why I like working at PostNord. I’ve worked here pretty much my whole life. In the mornings, I enjoy the social interaction with colleagues. During the rest of my working day I enjoy being alone on my rounds, being in the fresh air and meeting customers.” Do you play Tetris in your free time? “I used to as a child, but not anymore”, Mikkel laughs. “Packing the vehicles at work is enough. I prefer to watch Formula 1. It’s a bit more fastpaced than driving a mail van.”

“I’m not a fanatic, but I like things to be neat and tidy.”

FROM HIS TERRACED house in Lystrup outside Aarhus, it’s not far to PostNord’s facility. While his wife Betina and the kids are still sleeping soundly, Mikkel takes his moped and arrives at work at 6:15 a.m. After a morning coffee with his colleagues, he helps to pack the day’s vehicles before setting off on his own parcel round. “It’s not rocket science but a matter of common sense," Mikkel says.” The better we pack the vehicles, the less air we drive around with. And the more



The Guide

IN THE RIGHT PLACE They were looking for someone who was outgoing, had a good rapport with customers and had a knack for keeping things in order. In Monica Bastos, they got all those traits in one energetic package. TEXT: DAN NILSSON PHOTO: SANNA TEDEBORG

THIRD-PARTY LOGISTICS usually deals with warehousing and other logistics services, but in Landvetter outside Gothenburg, the TPL unit is now also a partner outlet. For the first time ever, PostNord TPL has opened its own distribution point in Sweden. There, among all the parcels waiting to be collected, is Monica Bastos. When her bosses were looking for someone for the new position, she was a natural candidate. “Positive, friendly and solution-oriented” are just a few of the things that have been said about Monica. She is also good at reading customers, a talent she developed when she studied psychology. “I see patterns when customers are stressed and easily irritated”, she says with a smile. “Then you have to be extra helpful. You have to think about how stressed the customers are feeling.”


Then it’s great that she can put another personality trait to good use: her knack for keeping things neat and tidy. “I need order!” she says. “I can't work when it’s messy, it gives me bad feelings. If I get things organized, it also helps the next person who comes to work.” Monica is also the go-to person for training new employees: “I try to be very instructive and answer questions. They can ask hundreds of times, it doesn't matter, because it’s got to be right. It feels great to teach someone what I know.”

“They can ask hundreds of times, it doesn't matter, because it’s got to be right. It feels great to teach someone what I know.”

BUT MONICA HAS many strengths – literally. Working out at the gym, her main hobby outside of work, gives her the strength you need to lift all those heavy parcels. From seven in the morning every day, Monica gets to use that extra energy. That’s when three cages full of parcels arrive to be sorted onto the shelves. At the same time, the mail carrier drops by with sacks full of mail.


MONICA BROUGHT all these skills with her when she moved to Sweden from Peru 16 years ago. One person who was particularly impressed was her future husband Mats, who was the very reason she stayed in Sweden. Monica had only come to visit her brother, who works as a technician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital with Mats. But fate had other plans. For most of her years in Sweden – 14 of them to be precise – she has worked at PostNord TPL in Gothenburg. Nowadays, she divides her working days between managing uniforms for customer Ted Bernhardtz and running the distribution point in Landvetter. “Of course I like it, otherwise I wouldn’t be working here”, she says. “If a day comes when I don't like it, I won’t be able to stay. There would be no point.


Monica Bastos Position at PostNord: Employee at PostNord TPL in Gothenburg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “Monika Pascolo, Erik Rehnberg and Vladimir Jankovic.”



The Guide

FROM PARCEL TO PALLET Music by his favorite bands keeps him company in the cabin and he gets his crocheting projects out during breaks. Johan Engström is one of 15 people who have completed further training to become truck drivers. TEXT: MALIN DAHLBERG PHOTO: SANNA TEDEBORG “THE GROWTH is completely crazy," says Pär Johansson, Production Manager at Göteborg Lastbil, describing the growth in recent years on the parcel side of the business. It’s not just e-commerce parcels, but also home deliveries of heavier goods: TVs, fridges, sacks of gravel, windows, you name it, people want it delivered to their door. “There are more than 200 pallets to be distributed every day," says Pär. “A truck has 18 pallet spaces, so it's easy to calculate the pressure in the business."


THE RAPID GROWTH has meant a shortage of drivers throughout the industry. In the West region, a local vehicle strategy has solved part of the problem. For example, employees from all parts of the business can apply to train for getting a truck license. The first batch includes mail carriers, terminal workers and van drivers who now drive heavy trucks. “I was immediately interested, but didn't really know what driving heavy goods involved, says Johan Engström, one of 15 people who have taken their license for driving heavy trucks through PostNord's special program. That’s why I got a bit of work experience as a truck driver for a couple of


days before I made up my mind. After that, I had no doubts about it.” JOHAN HAS WORKED for the company since his first summer job in 2004. He started as a cycling mail carrier and has since periodically switched jobs – and vehicles: from bicycle and moped to a mail van and a larger goods van. And now he drives a truck: usually a Volvo FL with a total weight of 16 tonnes. “There is a big difference between doing home deliveries of parcels and transporting pallets”, says Johan. “Above all, it is heavier. You go from a maximum of 35 kilos to a maximum of 1,000 kilos. The vehicle is also considerably larger and trickier to maneuver. It's important to think twice before turning into a narrow, unfamiliar street. But that's part of the fun, that difficulties and problems arise that need to be solved.”

live perfomances. “I think it's great to sit and listen to audiobooks. Otherwise, of course, I put music by Iron Maiden on. I've seen them ten times and next summer it's time for another concert.” HIS OTHER MAJOR interest, besides hard rock, is crochet. Yarn, hooks, chain stitches, treble crochets and loops. “I wanted to do something other than stare at a screen”, he says. “My wife's friend had made a pacifier holder and as a new dad I wanted to try it out. I found out how to do it and started crocheting. It’s incredibly calming. Almost a bit meditative.”

“I found out how to do it and started crocheting. It’s incredibly calming. Almost a bit meditative.”

JOHAN WAS ALSO ATTRACTED by the social aspect. Driving goods to and from businesses means longer stops and more talking to customers. In the vehicle, however, it's just him. And his favorite music, of course. “I’ve always liked driving”, he says with longing in his voice after two years without

IN THE REGION, the truck license training initiative remains ongoing for employees who are keen to progress within the company. Eight new positions will be filled in the autumn. Production Manager Pär praises all those who, like Johan, dare to take the plunge. “In concrete terms, this allows us to reduce the number of external hauliers and invest in our own staff”, says Pär. “This not only means lower costs but also higher quality. I think this is an important signal for the future.”


Johan Engström Position at PostNord: Truck driver in Gothenburg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “I would like to mention Jan Ifverström. We don’t work together anymore, but he was a really good collegue within the mail delivery unit. We have cycled the Vätternrundan bike ride together! In the truck side of the business, I work well with Klas Ziegler.”



Anel's best work environment tips

1 Strength training A couple of times a week. “You need to keep your body in shape to cope.”

2 Think about your lifting technique “Adopt a walking stance, with your left foot forward as if you were walking.”

3 Use work tools “They help our bodies hold out for the whole of our working life.”

4 Get help Ask colleagues for help with heavy lifting. “We are better together!”

5 Be positive Have a positive attitude and a smile on your face. “It makes the job easier.”


← Group leader Anel Hodzic tests an exoskeleton that helps with lifting.


Watch the film from Toftanäs! Follow us on Instagram #peoplebypostnord


A brand new

APPROACH They are testing exoskeletons and electric stair climbers in a project that will change PostNord's working environment. Biggest insight so far? That everyone already has the best tool. TEXT: MALIN DAHLBERG PHOTO: JOHAN BÄVMAN





that health and safety is still a relatively unexplored area in the logistics sector. Many tools are prototypes or extremely expensive. They often provide support for part of the process, but not the entire delivery. It has simply been difficult to find tools that can tackle all the challenges faced by our employees.” VERA NILSSON HAS been driving a van for just over a year. She knows how physically tough the work can be – both the concentration required at the wheel and the many stops needed to deliver around 120 items per shift. “I try to lift correctly and not stand in the vehicle when I have to lift heavy packages”,

she says. “I also get in and out of the vehicle on alternate legs to avoid putting strain on just one leg.” Vera thinks it’s great that the employees at Toftanäs got the chance to act as test pilots: "It shows that the management takes the working environment seriously. That they want us to be well". However, the tests so far have been a bit of a disappointment. Vera had high hopes for a sling with which you carry the parcels on a tray in front of you. “It was very comfortable to wear and took much of the weight off your arms and shoulders”, she says. “But the locking mechanism was so poor that the tray kept falling out.




IN FACT, a terminal worker can lift several tonnes in a single shift. A van driver often makes 60–70 stops in a day, with hundreds of parcels to be lifted in and out of the vehicle. Toftanäs also has several customers with heavy volumes that have to be handled manually. So Åsa and her production managers started looking at how to simplify the process. They trawled the market for heavy lifting equipment and during the year they tested various tools, both in terminal handling and in distribution. “Personally, I think we should test every tool we come across”, says Åsa. “However, it’s clear

s i s ä n “To f t a " . s r o i r r a f u ll o f w



“EVERYONE WAS focused, everyone was on hand, everyone was ready to help”, says Jasmina Music. “That's what I like about working here. When the going gets tough, everyone goes the extra mile.” Jasmina is the Production Manager at Malmö Skåpbil. She is talking about December 2020, when the Toftanäs terminal had a 47 percent increase in distribution volume. And it has not really decreased ever since. Parcel volumes continue to grow. The growth is fantastic and profitable, but sometimes also a challenge for everyone who has to sort, transport and deliver the parcels. “Heavy lifting and poor posture are challenges for the entire logistics industry”, says Jasmina. “When there's a lot to do, it's especially easy to get sloppy, but we need to address these issues now. PostNord should be a workplace where people can work without getting sick or in pain.” At the turn of the year, PostNord Sweden launched a massive work environment initiative Jasmina Music, Production Manager. called “Sustainable physical work environment in parcel processes”. The project is cross-functional. That means it includes HR, sales, product development – indeed all parts of the business. The project also liaises with the trade unions and the PostNord safety organization. When Åsa Holmgren, Terminal Manager at Toftanäs, heard about the initiative, she immediately contacted project manager Lars Persson and asked to be involved. “I took over as terminal manager at the turn of the year with these issues at the top of my agenda”, says Åsa. “Operations in Toftanäs run smoothly, with forward momentum and a good cost focus. What I wanted to add was a greater focus on the working environment, linked to the heavy handling tasks.”



production units.



61 vans.


own trucks.

34.7 million ↑ The carrying strap Vera tested took much of the weight off her arms and shoulders, but didn't feel fully developed.

parcels were sorted at the terminal in 2020.

6.5 million

parcels were distributed to partner outlets and recipients. PEOPLE BY POSTNORD





T | WO









POSTNORD TO BECOME INDUSTRY LEADER “Let's face it – historically we have not done enough to create a good working environment in all areas. That’s about to change. It's not okay for employees to get sick or injured at work. We are making a fresh start in health and safety management. Our focus is not only on the physical working environment, but also about gender equality, diversity and the psychosocial environment – and I want to set the bar high. PostNord will become an industry leader in systematic work environment management.” MATHIAS KRÜMMEL, HEAD OF POSTNORD SWEDEN, ON THE INVESTMENT IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.

→ Van driver Vera Nilsson has been working at PostNord for just over a year. “It’s great to meet so many people, but it’s pretty tough on your body."

I tested it for a week before giving it my final rating.” Vera and her colleagues assess all tools. There are forms on the terminal on which you can document the good and bad aspects and perhaps suggest improvements.

BY FAR THE coolest device tested at take care of your shoulders and back”, Anel Toftanäs is an exoskeleton that makes the says. “I think people have got better at doing wearer look like something out of a science this lately, maybe because we supervisors fiction movie. keep going on about it.” “You feel and look like a robot, but He describes the atmosphere in the unfortunately that's also the only positive workplace as extremely friendly and thing I have to say about it”, positive: “Toftanäs is full of says Anel Hodzic, group leader warriors, who try hard to deliver in the collection area at the every single parcel and empty terminal. “The exoskeleton is the terminal each day.” Terminal heavy, uncomfortable and hot. Manager Åsa Holmgren agrees. And a bit unwieldy, too. Sure, “I’m seeing great commityou get help with the lifting, but ment, especially on this issue”, it's very rare that we lift more she says. “Many people than twenty kilos at the appreciate the fact that they collection stage. It get to be involved in making a simply doesn't suit difference and that creates a Åsa Holmgren, our activities.” ripple effect.” Terminal Manager.

MAX MALMGREN HAS worked as a van driver since 2011 and is a safety representative at the terminal. He thinks it's great that health and safety is on the agenda, but agrees with Vera that so far no tool has lived up to expectations. One of the tools Max tested was an electric stair climber: “It makes it easier when you have a big delivery and have to go up some stairs, but it doesn't work at all if you have to go down stairs instead. The stair climbers are also relatively heavy. They are just as difficult to lift in and out of the vehicle as the WHEN ASKED goods themselves. It might be a WHAT the perfect tool looks good idea to have a couple at the like, Anel says, “We already got terminal for particular occasions, it – it's our body.” He and a but not one in every vehicle.” couple of colleagues have been According to Max, the trained as lifting instructors. The ultimate tool would be a aim is for all employees to Max Malmgren, planning tool. One that shows undergo training in lifting Van Driver. exactly what has been sorted techniques before the end of into the cages and the number the year. of items for each customer. “Different tools can make the work easier, “Then we wouldn't have had to reload and but the most important thing of all is to think move the parcels around so much”, he says. about the technique, train your body and


FOR THE WORK environment initiative to be fully successful, Åsa believes they will have to talk to customers about the conditions, too. Maybe even lower the weight limits: “In the short term, we might lose volume, but we’ll regain it in a better working environment. And an image as the sustainable logistics company. “In fact, many customers today combine two parcels to make one heavier one. If we could get them to stop doing that, it would be a major win.”






“i like to shake things up a bit”

Jeppe Tang Sørensen breathes life into ­flagging relationships. “It’s ­fantastic to be able to inspire people and get positive reactions.” IN SOME countries, you might receive a letter from the King or Queen when you turn 100. A magnificently written royal decree on parchment paper. Imagine receiving a text message with balloon emojis instead? How would that feel? Jeppe Tang Sørensen is no king, but he understands customer communication. As Account Manager at PostNord Strålfors in Copenhagen, he has started sending actual letters to customers before phoning them. A new approach that is appreciated by customers – and that several of Jeppe’s colleagues have copied. “It’s important to share your experiences with colleagues so that you can inspire each others”, he says. “I like to reach out to my colleagues; to provide support and to come up with ideas on how you can do things differently. And I also like to ask my colleagues for advice if something goes wrong. There's no shame in asking for help.”




Jeppe Tang Sørensen Position at PostNord: Account Manager at PostNord Strålfors, Copenhagen, Denmark. Closest colleagues: "Thomas Schroll Jensen, Jimmy Olsen Simonsen and Laila Dolmeyer. They are worth their weight in gold."

↑ “Customers have to know what they are buying and need time to make decisions. In my experience, it creates the best customer e ­ xperience and the best results”, says Jeppe Tang Sørensen.

JEPPE LIKES TEMPO. You can see that right away. We conduct the interview by phone, but he doesn't sit still at his desk to talk to us. Instead, he laces up his trainers and goes for a long walk. His approach to his job has led his colleagues to name him one of the most inspiring people in the workplace. “I like to shake things up a bit if I see something we can do better”, he says. “It's exciting to find new ways, try new things and share your experiences with others.” LUCKILY, it’s Jeppe's job to shake things up. He is responsible for a group of customers who have a good but rather passive relationship with PostNord. They have received the service they want, but other than that, PostNord hasn’t “bothered” them. But now there’s a new approach. With the help of Jeppe, PostNord wants to build a closer relationship with the selected customers by actively informing them how new initiatives and products can improve their business. The initiative has been very well received by the customers, who range from small firms of tradespeople to large corporations. “Customers are curious about what we can offer and interested in what we can tell them”,


he says. “They might not buy anything right away, but some come back later.” Jeppe considers it essential to avoid pressuing customers: “I'm not a salesman with a capital S; I'm probably more the careful and calm type. Customers have to know what they are buying and need time to make decisions. In my experience, it creates the best customer experience and the best results.”

THE PRODUCTS INCLUDE digital mailboxes, digital signatures, remote printing and automation – all designed to simplify work routines. “Many customers get excited when we tell them about the new possiblilites”, says Jeppe. “I don't recall anyone being annoyed that we made contact with them. It's fantastic to be able to inspire people and get positive reactions.”

THIS ATTITUDE HAS also led to a unique collaboration with his colleague Thomas Schroll Jensen. Most salespeople have their own customer area. Instead, Jeppe and Thomas have chosen to work together with a joint group of over 600 customers. “We’re a good team and we knew each other before we came to Strålfors”, Jeppe says. “With a shared customer group, there is no unnecessary bickering about who should handle which customer contact. Instead, we can enjoy working with new customers together.”

JEPPE IS BACK at his desk. The interview is over but not today's exercise session. The pedometer should ideally reach more than 15,000 steps a day”, he says. “It spends much of his free time on activities with his kids. For that you need strong lungs. “I go for several walks every day. It clears my mind and keeps me healthy – just like training and football. It gives you the energy for a good working life and a good family life.”

“i like to reach out to my colleagues.”




For Sara and Johan, it started with a lousy pick-up line. Marko and Kirsi were connected by a switchboard operator. Hilde and Espen have PostNord in their blood. Meet three couples who don't just share lives, but also jobs at PostNord.




→ Sara Georén and Johan Almqvist met in 2011. They live in the Majorna area of Gothenburg, with their daughter Lo aged 2.5 years and their cat Ulla.




Sara Georén and Johan Almqvist Position at PostNord: Sara works in HR. Johan is a mail carrier. Both in Gothenburg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: Sara: "Anna-Karin Kindberg, my friend at work. Annika Lundqvist, my Obi-Wan Kenobi at training coordination, Gunilla Johansson at HR Direkt, a real rock! Patrik Ågren, I think it's bad that he's never seen the kids’ cartoon characters called Babblarna. Uno Asker, for taking it so well when Johan walked past during our Team Meeting in his underpants." Johan: "Linnéa Netz, simply the best. Jonathan Ekelund, it's nice that he does all the tricky work so I don't have to. Johanna Esberg, PostNord's biggest fan of Gais football club. Andreas Berggren, also known as Sälen, he is awesome, but it took me two years to learn his real name. Hasse Nilsson and Urban Olin, may the force be with you."

d a b   a “Such line!” When Sara Georén and Johan Almqvist met ten years ago, neither of them had set foot on PostNord premises. Today they share their lives, and work, with each other.




SARA AND JOHAN met in a not entirely unconventional way: at the pub. “We’re actually not pub people at all, but it was at that time of life”, Johan says. “I was out with friends at Andra Långgatan in Gothenburg and suddenly a guy came in who looked like the younger brother of Swedish musician Timo Räisänen”, Sara says. Journalism student Johan, who isn’t related to the Gothenburg musician at all, was out with his floorball mates from the town of Skövde. He caught sight of Sara at the bar. “I had just signed a receipt, when Johan appeared next to me and said that I hade the same initials as his sister, which isn’t even true! Such a bad line”, Sara says laughing. Anyway, it worked. The two groups of friends spent the whole evening together. Johan and Sara met every day the following week and by the next weekend they were an obvious couple. “I think we’re so well suited because we have exactly the same values”, Sara says without hesitation. “Yes, because we don’t really have many common interests”, Johan adds.


“Suddenly a guy came in who looked like the younger brother of Swedish musician Timo Räisänen.” HOWEVER, THEY HAVE acquired a lot of things together since then: an apartment in the Majorna area of Gothenburg, a child, a cat – and the same employer, PostNord. Sara worked at a staffing agency that recruited students for various part-time jobs and she advised Johan to apply to PostNord through the agency. Johan got a part-time job as a mail carrier. He liked it so much that he shelved his studies and stayed. A few years later, Sara was headhunted to PostNord’s recruitment center. Although they have never worked together, they have been able to benefit from their shared employer. “The advantage when I worked in recruitment was that I could ask Johan a lot about his job as a mail carrier, what the role really involves”, Sara says. “But now I work in HR, training PostNord’s 1,600 managers.”


“Yes, my bosses are among them”, Johan adds.

that I’ve been doing a lot of remote work”, she says.

WHEN ASKED IF there is anything negative about having the same employer, the couple reply: “I'm not the least bit interested in work stuff and just want to be private when I get home. Sara, on the other hand, often wants to talk about work at home”, Johan says. “I have a completely different type of job to Johan and I sometimes feel the need to talk to him about it, especially now

NEITHER COLLEAGUES NOR friends have commented that they have the same employer. “However, if we're at a dinner party, for example, they always turn to me with questions about PostNord, even though Sara is the one who actually knows the most about it”, Johan says. “Because I'm a mail carrier, it's so clear that I work there. They mostly regard Sara as someone who works in an office.”


n ders u e d t n a W “ each other.” TEXT: SISSEL FANTOFT PHOTO: ANDREAS WINTER

Hilde and Espen Nielsen have lived together for 21 years. They've been with PostNord for even longer. NEAR ISFJORDEN, AT THE FAR end of the beautiful Romsdalsfjorden, in Norway, is where Hilde och Espen Nielsen live with their three children. The grey house is surrounded by majestic mountains and if you look for long enough, you might see a bit of blue seeping through the wall paneling because this is a family with PostNord in its blood. “I was born and raised with PostNord”, Espen says. “Dad worked at PostNord/Tollpost all his working life – for 53 years! One of my earliest memories is when I went to work with him and played with toy trucks on the floor.” He will soon celebrate his 30th anniversary as a PostNord employee: “Like many other young people in this area, I got my first job at PostNord when I was still at school.


“THE BEST THING ABOUT working here is all my great colleagues.” Both Espen and Hilde agree on this. Hilde works with accounting for, among others, Region Nord, the department for production development and quality. Espen is the district manager for Åndalsnes, which is part of the Vest Region. “It’s important that we don’t mix”, Hilde says. “Otherwise, colleagues might think we were a little too close. And because we don’t work in the same department, we have more to talk about at the end of the day.” When things are stressful at work, it’s good to have a partner who understands what happens at the workplace. “When we have monthly accounts, Espen knows that I have to work longer days”, she says. “In the same way, I can show understanding when he has a lot of goods to take care of.” HILDE AND ESPEN usually carpool the short distance to and from PostNord’s office in Åndalsnes, but for the past year Hilde has been working from home one day a week. Espen is regarded as an essential worker, whose position is important to society, so he has been on site in Åndalsnes throughout the pandemic. “There has been a lot more to do as online shopping has grown rapidly, it will be interesting to see if this is a lasting change”, he says. The couple have an active leisure life with constant renovation projects and their children, who play football and handball. “We’ve now been together for 21 years and married for 15”, Hilde says. “We enjoy working in the same place, but we’re glad we’re not bumping into each other all the time. We rarely have lunch together, but it’s always nice to drive home together after work and talk about the day while we plan dinner and family activities.” Whether the kids will choose to follow in their parents’ footsteps and become the third generation to work at PostNord remains to be seen. “That’s up to them, but our experiences have all been positive”, Espen says.


Hilde and Espen Nielsen Position at PostNord: Hilde is Divisional Controller and Espen is District Manager in Åndalsnes, Norway. Closest colleagues: Hilde works most closely with Tronn Flittie, Anne Beate B. Ytterli, Taina Selnak, Roy Anders Frilund, Andreas Talstad Heen, Ruth Larshus, Arne Refvik Helle and June Hermansen. Espen works mostly with Anders Jørpeland, Geir Tore Gulla, David Magne Vikås, Tone Tøvik and Kjetil Rønning.



Kirsi and Marko Huhtakangas Position at PostNord: Kirsi works in the Order Control team. Marko's team is responsible for domestic and international regular traffic in Turku, Finland. Closest colleagues: Marko works most closely with Matti Upas, Asko Rahikkala and Saara Lehtinen and Kirsi with Teija Helén, Anna Pietarila and Douglas Dapaah-Agyemang.




y m t e l “I s n o ti o m e ” r e v o e k ta

They worked for the same company, but in different towns. Kirsi fell in love with Marko's voice even before they met. Today they share office and a life together.

THEY HAVE NOW been together for 24 years and have three children together, the youngest of whom is 11 and the eldest 21. Kirsi also has an adult son from a previous relationship. The secret to their long marriage is respect for each other, shared values and the ability not to worry too much.

THEY HAVE THE dialect to thank for everything. Or a switchboard operator with matchmaking skills. It depends on how you look at it. Marko Huhtakangas often phoned Kirsi's office with billing questions. Since they are both from Sastamala in Finland and have the same dialect, the switchboard operator always connected Marko's calls to Kirsi. She fell in love with Marko and his voice.

IT'S NICE TO have little tokens of affection, even in everyday life. If Marko goes out to eat alone during the working day, he sometimes brings Kirsi an ice cream. “Sometimes”, Marko says, “we even kiss in the coffee room, when no one is looking.” “Of course, this is not for everyone and I have acquaintances who would not want to share a workplace with their partner. It depends on the person.” He admits that he too initially wondered about whether to start a relationship with a colleague, but only for a short while. “Then I let my emotions take over,” Marko says.


They first met at a work party. Finally, she took the initiative and asked him out for coffee. Four years later, they danced at their wedding. Today, the Huhtakangas work at PostNord's Turku branch on different teams but in the same building. Having the same workplace has never been a problem for either of them. “I have never regarded it as negative that we are colleagues,” Kristi says. “It's quite nice to know who and what the other person is talking about."

About love in the workplace LOVE AT WORK is OK. But there are some rules of thumb to bear in mind. Martina Smedman, HR Director at PostNord Sweden, explains: “Love happens and an employer has no say in it. But when one party is a manager and the other is a member


of staff in the same department, a situation of dependency arises. It’s also a problem if the group dynamics are affected by two people in the group having a relationship.” “We recommend that you contact your immediate manager if you start a

relationship with a colleague." “It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that problems do not arise in the workplace. Raise the subject with your boss, preferably a little too early rather than leaving it too late.”




Ivan Kjellenberg Position at PostNord: System Specialist at TPL Norrköping, Sweden. Closest colleagues: Jerker Måntelius, Fedja Imocanin, Richard Nilsson, Mika Ruuth and Björn Spångberg.




See Ivan’s work! Follow us on Instagram #peoplebypostnord

Ivan Kjellenberg is an artist. His brush is called Qlik Sense and his paints are numbers and data. THE RESULT IS VISIBLE ON screens throughout PostNord TPL’s premises in Norrköping, Sweden. How many parcels must be loaded in the vehicle before 14.20? Check the screen! Is the temperature in the premises where the medicines are packed correct? Check the screen! Because where others see columns, rows, fives, eights and percentages – Ivan Kjellenberg sees colors, circles, curves and pictures. He paints with data. His realization that things can be visualized and automated came at the office, when he was manually sitting and producing reports. Day after day after day. “But, I thought, why sit and do the same thing every day?” Ivan says. “You should be able to look and interpret the data directly. So I connected to a database with my Excel file instead – and it was much better and easier than constantly reformatting it. Numbers have that ability.

In the right hands, they can illuminate, facilitate, guide and make a difficult task easier to tackle.” AND THAT’S exactly what Ivan does in his role as a systems specialist. He learned about a software called Qlik Sense and convinced management to let him go on a training course on how to use it. Now he transforms large volumes of numbers into clear graphs, reports and charts, so that the right people get the right information and don’t have to think about anything besides what’s relevant to them. “I build the things that are done automatically”, he says. “Those who want to see the data in a certain way will see it automatically and don’t have to produce manual reports.” Can you provide an example? “It’s quite varied. But there’s a lot of warehouse data, such as orders and how much we have packed each day. If the truck is scheduled to leave soon, we can see how many orders we need to pack until it has to leave. And when we work with pharmaceuticals, the data can consist of temperature monitoring or making sure we have the right traceability.” Would you say that you are an expert in highlighting facts and processes? “Yes, I’ve become engrossed in it. Your

imagination is really the only limit to what you can do with data. You can show it where, how and when you want. It can be on people’s own screens when they log in, or on a screen in the production process.” IT’S EASY to believe that people like Ivan Kjellenberg love math, counting and calculating. But he says the opposite is true. “No, I can’t even be bothered to split the bill at the pub”, he says. “That's why I like this – you don't have to do the math yourself. The lazier you are, the better the solutions, ha ha!" “The fun part is seeing the difference it makes for people. Most people are like me and don’t like to split bills at the pub or produce manual reports. When you’ve generated a report on how many orders we’ve packed in a day, people can focus on other things instead of producing this tedious data. It makes people very happy and that makes me happy.” IVAN USES THE WORD “nerd” to describe himself. He has always enjoyed research and science. When not at work, his usual pastimes are runs in the woods, trips to lakes and Star Trek. “I’m on a mission to watch all the TV episodes”, he says. “I don’t even know how many there are, but I started in 2020, during the pandemic. I’m guessing it will take me a year in total.” Do you keep track of all the numbers in your everyday life, too? Have you made graphs for how to watch Star Trek or all your runs? “Ha ha, no. Even I draw the line at that. When I go running in the woods I try to put things like that out of my mind. But when I took a course in the Qlik Sense software, the instructor had linked the Swedish Food Agency’s register of inspected pubs to the map in his car. When he went to buy food, he could check whether the restaurant had received any criticisms. That’s fun. There are lots of open databases you can use.”

“Your imagination is really the only limit to what you can do with data.” PEOPLE BY POSTNORD




Why do companies need a strategy? The word means “the art of waging war”, but are we really talking about battle planning? We asked Robert Gorosch to explain PostNord’s strategy. MOST COMPANIES have a strategy. Grand words that aim high. You may have heard PostNord’s vision “Favorite carrier of the Nordics”, its purpose "We make everyday life easier", or the strategic priorities “Win in Parcel” and “Sustainable Mail Business”. But do you know what they mean? And how to use them in your everyday work? One person who should be able to explain this is Robert Gorosch, Group Strategy Director at PostNord. His work includes tracking consumer trends and analyzing the postal and parcel market to ensure that PostNord is focusing on the right things. “Put simply, strategy is the ability to formulate a couple of clear goals and identify what you need to do to achieve them”, Robert says. Well, that doesn’t sound so complicated, does it? “No, but perhaps the hard part is not setting goals, its having some logic for why they are important and what activities you need to achieve them.” Take PostNord’s vision for example “Favorite carrier of the Nordics”. How do you become that? “It’s not enough to say you want to achieve it; the major task is bringing the vision to life. Does it mean that we should have the largest market share in the Nordic region, or that we should be the


most popular supplier? Parcel”; it encompasses various “As we want the preferred activities such as being efficient, supplier, we need to find out what cutting costs and working smart. If consumers think is most important that information does not reach or a deal-breaker. It can be the people who actually deliver anything from speed and friendly the parcels, it will take us much drivers to a wide range of options longer to reach our goals. It must to choose from. Then the key is become part of the culture at create services that consumers PostNord. That’s why it's so love. And that’s how it goes: goals, important that our leaders talk analysis, action, follow-up.” about this in the workplace.” How do you ensure that the How can employees contribute to strategy is not just fancy words the strategy? and that it reaches all parts of the “Everyone who is out in the field organization? sees a lot. It could be a route that “This is a huge challenge and an needs to be re-evaluated or tasks area with potential for developthat can be done smarter. Having ment. We need to get better at the courage to speak up, take communicating this in a simple responsibility and suggest way. improvements is so important.” “Basically, the If you have corporate strategy sets questions or the framework for the thoughts about the country strategies. It’s strategy, who then up to each country should you contact? to communicate its own “You can strategy and goals in naturally talk to an understandable your manager, but way, using articles and you can also send Robert Gorosch, other informative an email to me or Group Strategy material. But our Director at PostNord. someone in leaders are the most management. You important tool of all. They have to shouldn’t be afraid of doing that. eat, sleep and live our strategy for Sometimes I notice that there is us to succeed.” still a culture of not talking about How important is it for a driver our problems, but we have to be or mail carrier to know Postable to do that in order to solve Nord’s strategy? them.” “It's extremely important! Take our strategic priority “Win in



Tuomo tip-toes for tiny tots To make customers happy, few things beat good service. Especially if it involves sleeping children.


ABC@POSTNORD Are you good at giving that little something extra? Or do you know someone who is? Please let us know at

TUOMO SEPPÄNEN TRANSPORTS parcels in Brahestad in the Finnish region of North Ostrobothnia. His distribution area is large: he drives over 300 kilometers daily and at most has had 91 deliveries in one day. However, working in rural areas has its advantages. “You quickly learn the routines of repeat customers in a small town”, Tuomo says. “If there is a pram outside, I usually leave the parcel by another door of the house or at an agreed place in the yard, porch, or shed.” This simple but kind gesture has not gone unnoticed by customers. A recipient wrote in the PostNord app: “It’s great when the same driver delivers. It means I know in advance that he won’t wake my little one!” “You save a bit of time in each place when you’ve learned people’s habits, which makes your visits faster and easier”, he says. TUOMO HAS been delivering parcels for PostNord since the end of 2019. He says the work can be quite challenging at times: “In the winters when it’s minus 30 degrees, changeable weather and dark in daytime, it’s not that much fun. Our colleagues in the south would probably be astounded if they were forced to drive in those conditions. But somehow you still manage and the workdays go quickly.” Tuomo enjoys his work and perhaps the positive reviews of his customers can warm his heart on the coldest winter days. “It is of course nice to get that kind of feedback”, he says. “You always try to do everything in the best possible way.”

Tuomo Seppänen Position at PostNord: Courier van driver for PostNord’s transport partner in Brahestad, Finland. Closest colleagues: “Hannu Järvelä and Niko Luokkanen. But also the other drivers and distributors you chat to when loading up in the morning.”




the cat

hero No wonder that Åsa Ottosson is the hero of the neighborhood. She saved the lives of two cats and mended a broken heart. All with the same brilliant idea. TEXT: SARA MARCZAK PHOTO: KRISTOFER LÖNNÅ

← One of the cats that has now been re-homed in the same neighborhood. 58


Åsa Ottosson Position at PostNord: Mail carrier in Sundsvall, Sweden. Closest colleagues: “My husband Anders Ottosson: he is also a mail carrier. That’s how we met. I was renting a small apartment and sitting outside studying when he arrived with the mail. We started talking. Turns out we both like to walk in the woods and that was how it started. Ulf Wiik: likes mountain hiking, nice style, good taste. Jörgen Johansson: cool car, cool guy. Roger Gröning: still going strong. Micke Holm: battles on, has a cigarette.”


A LOT HAPPENS in a neighborhood in 20 years. Some houses are demolished and others built. People are born, grow up and move away. But there is also a lot that remains. Like mail carrier Åsa Ottosson, who has been delivering mail in the same district in Sundsvall for two decades and has inevitably got to know the local residents. If a neighborhood can have a heart, she is one of those who supply it with oxygen. “It’s a highly social job”, she says. “Sometimes I wish I had more time, but it doesn’t take long to stop and exchange a few words. It can mean so much to people, some say it’s the best time of day when I come.” IN EARLY SPRING 2021 Åsa distributed mail as usual in Södermalm in Sundsvall. But due to the pandemic, the neighborhood's heart beat a little weaker that day. On the letters to the elderly woman who Åsa used to chat with, it said “estate”. A neighbor said that she had died of COVID-19. A sad Åsa was also told that two of the woman’s four cats would be put down in two weeks’ time. No new home had been found for them. “I have six cats myself and thought it was abolutely awful, both for the poor cats Hasse and Gösta, but also for the deceased lady who had been a real animal lover and a dog sitter for several dogs”, Åsa says. “It felt so wrong.” THEN SHE HAD an idea. The same neighborhood was home to a man whose cat had been missing for several months. He had told Åsa about his grief. She phoned him and told him about the two suddenly homeless cats. “I said, you don’t have to decide right away but he did!” says Åsa. “Just a few days later, the cats moved in with him. He is elderly and did not want a new kitten.” ÅSA REALLY EMPATHIZED with the man and his missing cat. One winter, one of her



↑ If Åsa hadn’t found a new home for the two cats, they would probably have ended up at her place. “Yes, that was a likely scenario. My husband had said ‘no more cats now’, but I couldn’t have let them be put down!”

own cats ran away for a whole month, but suddenly one day it came back. Åsa hopes that this will also be the case here. But now he has company while he waits. If it hadn’t worked out, would you have taken care of the two cats yourself? “Yes, that was a likely scenario. My husband had said ‘no more cats now’, but I couldn’t have let them be put down! Two of my cats were adopted by us and one of them is now my husband’s favorite.” ÅSA, WHO WASN’T exactly unknown in the area before, has become something of a hero after her intervention. Another neighbor in the area, a journalist at Sundsvall’s newspaper, wrote an article on the story, which gave Åsa even more positive feedback. In the article, the elderly man talks about his life with his new roommates. About how he had to go and fetch them from their previous owner’s stairs on the first few days, but that he never had to carry them, they came home with him of their own accord.


“i kept looking at the postmen in my area. i missed my old part-time job, which is what i always liked best.”

Today they are at home in his apartment, just 50 meters from their old home. And he continues to keep a look out, hoping that his lost cat will come back. DURING THE PANDEMIC, everyone got a little lonelier. Some people were completely isolated at home. Some people who worked from home told Åsa that they were jealous of her as she was able to be outside and physically active all day. Åsa understands exactly what they meant. She herself has a Bachelor of Arts in Swedish and Nordic languages, Russian and Literary Studies and knows what it’s like to have a desk job. “I worked as a mail carrier during the summer when I was studying at university”, she says. “Then I worked as a Swedish teacher at upper secondary school and as a reporter for several years. But I kept glancing at the mail carriers in my area. I missed my old part-time job, which is what I always liked best.”


The future is already here. We noted this in the previous issue of People by PostNord. But what will our jobs look like in 20 years? We asked four PostNord employees. TEXT: MICHAEL KIRKEBY, MALIN DAHLBERG, TEA MANNINEN PHOTO: MORTEN GERMUND

Four thoughts on THE LIST / VISIONS




1. Deliveries meeting human needs

“PostNord can be the hub that reduces environmental impact”


FLORENCE TÖNNÄNG is a sales representative in Gothenburg, Sweden. She started her career as a mail carrier in 1989. She didn’t plan to stay long, but has had the same employer for 32 years now: “I really loved my colleagues and the team spirit. One of the reasons I’ve stayed is because I can develop within the company, create value for customers and be part of PostNord’s journey of change.” FLORENCE’S VIEW OF PostNord’s future is not just about technology. “I am convinced that personal service will be a competitive advantage in the future”, she says. “People's needs are what drive technological development. Not vice versa. PostNord is already on the right track, but the question is where does it draw the line? For example, we could collect waste for recycling, water the flowers of people who are away, or bring freshly baked bread to companies that have mail delivered.”

IN SWITZERLAND, there are already mail carriers who bring fruit and vegetables to their recipients. In England, mail carriers have been used in the fight against loneliness in the elderly. And in Sweden, PostNord has tested both deliveries out of the back of the van and delivering grocery bags to recipients’ doorways. “Just a few years ago, help with domestic cleaning or with schoolwork at home was unthinkable”, Florence says. “Today, there is an appetite for services that make everyday life easier. We’ve got the infrastructure and have contact with everyone throughout Sweden.” What do you think we will see more of in the future? “More timely deliveries with predictability. I think there will be services that help us with more long-term orders, such as Christmas gifts or Easter decorations. Businesses would be able to make products to order and avoid overproduction, thereby contributing to reduced environmental impact. PostNord would become the hub of these flows between customers, keeping track of when, where and how deliveries should be made.”

Florence Tönnäng Position at PostNord: Sales representative in Gothenburg, Sweden. Closest colleagues: Linda Johansson, Mats Hedlund, Peter Stiernspetz, Lena Ahlert, Suzanne Ax, Henrik Corin, Hans Högdin, Bengt Löf, Ann-Kristin Prim and Johan Parmfjord.

2. Robots and Google glasses

“I think a lot of the work will be digitalized”


Miko Liikanen Position at PostNord: Terminal worker for PostNord’s transport partner in Oulu, Finland. Closest colleagues: “My younger brother Niklas Liikanen and the whole team at the Oulu Autokuljetukens terminal.”


MIKO LIIKANEN has worked at PostNord for as long as Oulun Autokuljetus Oy has been the company’s transport partner. That is, from November 2019. The night shift at the terminal in Oulu largely consists of parcel sorting, a physical job. But Miko believes that will change in the future. “If we look ahead to 2050, this work will have largely been digitalized and parcel sorting will be fully automated”, he says. “I think that parcels will no longer be carried from one place to another; instead it will be done using automation and robots. “And a pair of those smart glasses from

Google would be great. They help you see where the parcel is and where it’s going.” How do you think parcels will be transported in 30 years from now? “Probably in vehicles but on the other hand, maybe the vehicles will be able to fly. Nobody has said that the vehicles will travel on roads. “Or teleportation! That would be even cooler. If everyone had their own teleportation machine, parcels would be sent from one place to another in the same way as email is today.”


3. Teleportation and 3D printed parcels

“Teleportation would be the ultimate way to deliver mail”


DAVID JUAN MØBJERG FROST and his family lived among Argentina’s indigenous people for a while in his childhood. There, he learned that technology can make a big and positive difference to people – but also that you have to avoid rushing if you want everyone to keep up. TODAY, 37 YEARS old, David lives in Aarhus, Denmark, with his wife and three children. He works as an infrastructure designer for PostNord’s digital platforms, such as the app that all the mail carriers use. It’s a very different world, but the lessons of his childhood have stayed with him. “I started programming when I was eleven years old and have always been fascinated by IT and technology”, he says. “I stopped counting how many programming languages I knew when I turned 23. But I’m also very aware that even if you can do everything, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything. And you definitely shouldn’t rush it. “PostNord could develop a system where drones fly around with parcels – a bit like Amazon does. But neither we nor our customers are ready for that yet. People would probably just get scared and current needs are for other services.”

IN THE SHORT TERM, it is more about developing tools that can reduce the daily workload of mail carriers. Technology that allows them to perform their tasks more easily. “It’s not unrealistic to imagine us using Augmented Reality within the next five years to help the mail carriers”, he says. “With the help of special glasses, they can automatically see all the information they need on their route and perhaps at the same time operate a small automated vehicle that can lift the heavy parcels – there are many possibilities.” And in the longer term? “Well, we've all fantasized about teleportation. It would surely be the ultimate way to deliver mail! And who knows, in 20 years’ time instead of parcels, maybe we’ll be receiving cartridges for our 3D printer so we can print the parcels. lt’s exciting technology. I’ve had four 3D printers at home for a while, so to my kids it’s already completely natural.”

David Juan Møbjerg Frost Position at PostNord: Infrastructure designer in Aarhus, Denmark. Closest colleagues: Martin Norling, Bo Seiffert, Nikolaj Settnes, Sidsel Holm Larsen, Kelvin Luong, Christian Glad Filtenborg, Jens Thomsen, Helle Vendeltorp-Pommer and Lene Rosenkrantz.

4. Flexible home deliveries with electric trucks

“Everything is becoming more automated” Kaja Kvam Jenssen Position at PostNord: Team Leader at Customer Service in Oslo, Norway. Closest colleagues: Mats Lekman, Ranier Bautista, Maria Mossestad, Younes Azouggarh and Jacob Nelson.



KAJA KVAM JENSSEN is a team leader at the customer service department in Oslo, Norway. She has high hopes for the future of her workplace: “We are one of Norway’s best customer centers in terms of service level. Much will be the same as today, but with simpler solutions to technical problems so that there are fewer requests for help.” She sees how the digitalization and automation of both vehicles and services are

creating new opportunities and fewer errors. “In 15 or 20 years’ time, we will have evolved enormously digitally and offer innovative solutions”, she says. “Everything will be more automated and parcels will be delivered by electric trucks. “Errors in mailings will be automatically pinpointed by the system and it will be possible to agree on an exact time for home deliveries.” What do you think PostNord should do in the future? “Robots are a big and innovative step.”



Lord of the darkness Jens Ejnar Iversen runs Brørup Bio – the dramatic pulse of the small town in Jutland. “The movie theater means a lot to the community.” WORKING AT PostNord means working with people as helpers and enablers. From the large corporate customer to home delivery for the 90-year-old in their mountain cabin. Maybe that’s why Jens Ejnar Iversen – a consultant at the Retail Department in Fredericia, Denmark – runs a local movie theater in his spare time. And because he loves movies, of course. “The movie theater means a lot to the community”, he says. “That's why we're also trying to turn it into a bit of a cultural center, where we not only show films but also organize lectures, music events and quiz nights.”

business”, he says. “But when I work during the performances, I sell tickets, show visitors to their seats and press the buttons that start the film. Those of us running the movie theater work well together and that makes it fun.”

WHEN THE LOCAL movie theater in Brørup lacked film operators in 2002, Jens Ejnar stepped in – at the behest of his younger brother. At first it was a matter of playing the big rolls of 35 mm film, splicing film strips and changing reels. Since then, developments have been rapid, regarding both film technology and Jens Ejnar’s tasks. The old film reels were replaced by computers and digital technology. Jens Ejnar was elected to the board and later became chairman. “Today, I have overall responsibility for the movie theater and the technical side of the

THE MOVIE THEATER is unbeatable, with its dark auditorium, large screen and high-quality sound. But Jens Ejnar doesn’t feel he has to see all films there. Perhaps it’s because he has a penchant for directors who don’t necessarily attract large audiences. Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch are a couple of his favorites: “They’re good at creating an atmosphere that really makes an impression. That’s one of the things that are important to me, that a film can build a mood and keep it.”



AND IT’S NO small task either. They want to fill 144 seats, ten times a week. More than 100 volunteers help out. They also know that their efforts help to strengthen the cohesion and sense of community in Brørup, with its 4,500 or so inhabitants. How many films do you manage to see when you spend 12 hours a week running a movie theater? “I try to see as many films as possible, but it probably ends up as only being 30 to 40 a year. And many of them are via streaming.”

Jens Ejnar’s 3 favorites


2001: A Space Odyssey ”From the iconic opening to the equally iconic ending, the film is made up of great photography and sound. Should be experienced on the biggest movie theater screen possible.”


Das Boot “Captures the atmosphere and claustrophobia of a submarine in a fantastic way. The subdued music helps to underpin the mood throughout the film.”


Monthy Pyton and the Holy Grail “The film is full of inane sketches. It showcases Monty Python at their absolute best.”



Jens Ejnar Iversen Position at PostNord: Consultant at the Retail Department in Fredericia, Denmark. Closest colleagues: Kit Mathiasen, Trine Klink Pedersen, Carsten Dahl, Puvi Panchalingam, Peter Petersen and Flemming Wollbrink.

Watch a film from the movie theater! Follow us on Instagram #peoplebypostnord





“It’s like a scene from Jaws” Ulf Jakobsson literally came face to face with 600 kilos of dark-brown rage. “IT’S AN EXTRAORDINARY story”, says rural mail carrier Ulf Jakobsson. You can hear a dash of fascination and shock in his calm dialect from Norrland, northern Sweden. He’s talking about that mysterious moose. The one that was looking for trouble. “Moose encounters along the road are common. In winter it is even more unusual not to see a moose. They usually quickly step over the edge of the plowed snow and disappear into the forest. But not this one.” IT WAS A DAY in March 2021. Ulf drove the long distance between Finnberg and Södra Mensträsk in Västerbotten. There, you pass only a few farms. Suddenly a moose was standing in the middle of the road. Which, as mentioned, is not unusual. 66

After all, there are as many moose in Sweden as there are people in the southern Swedish city of Malmö – about 350,000. “The moose turned around, looked at me a little and started walking along the road. I had no choice but to drive slowly at some distance behind it. It was a bit slippery and he walked carefully, almost slipping over at times. This went on for a kilometer. Ulf started to feel slightly stressed but tried to keep his cool. Eventually the moose stopped at the roadside and Ulf tried to sneak past. “It looked okay at first and I slowly started to overtake. Then, all of a sudden, it was as if the moose had been struck by lightening!” A MOOSE CAN run at 60 kilometers per hour. And then some

600 kilos of dark-brown rage went into attack mode! He headbutted the vehicle’s windscreen with violent force. Fortunately, bull moose lose their antlers during the winter and only small antler buds had grown back. Still, the windscreen broke. “It’s like a scene from the film Jaws. You know, when the shark pushes its head up through the boat. Its skull stopped on the windscreen for a second. I saw it staring at me, 30 centimeters away. ULF WAS GOING to deliver the mail as usual but now found himself in a Mexican standoff with the king of the forest. And it wasn’t over. The moose reared up on its hind legs and struck its front legs on the windscreen. Shards of glass flew into the vehicle.

“I started getting a bit of an adrenaline rush. But then he stopped as suddenly as he had started.” THE MOOSE BACKED away from the car slightly. Ulf was able to drive on for about 75 meters. He stopped to check whether the moose was injured, but it jumped off into the forest. The windscreen was badly damaged but still in one piece. Ulf had to drive back slowly so that it didn’t collapse into the car. “A bit later on, a colleague told me that the moose was back on the road, but then immediately jumped off it again.” “I can only speculate as to why it did what it did, but there had been a lot of snow. It was probably stressed when struggling to get over the edge of the plowed snow into the forest. ROBERT LÅNGSTRÖM PEOPLE BY POSTNORD

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Articles inside

Ulf Jakobsson

pages 66-68

Robert Gorosch

page 56

Pauliina Murtola

page 31

Tuomo Seppänen

page 57

Mathias Krümmel

page 43

Åsa Ottosson

pages 58-61

Ivan Kjellenberg

pages 54-55

Jeppe Tang Sørensen

pages 44-47

Arne Andersson

page 30

Nina Ivesand

pages 18-21

Jacob Pedersen

pages 22-23

Zekrulah Ahmadi

page 24

Agim Mehani

pages 16-17

Daniel Hållström

page 25

Karolina Jonsson

page 10

Charles Justine

pages 6-8

Waheid Aslam

page 13
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