Weather ‘biggest challenge’ in newspaper delivery

Most of us enjoy an autumn Sunday morning in our favorite cozy chair with a warm cup of coffee and a copy of the Sunday Herald, watching the rain from our dry and peaceful living room window.

But how did that newspaper reach our residence?

Every day, carriers deliver between 34,000 and 42,000 Herald newspapers to homes and businesses throughout Snohomish and Island County, and a couple hundred in Skagit County.

Delivery of The Herald begins when the first bundle of papers leave the downtown Everett pressroom about midnight, headed for Whidbey Island, Camano Island and Skagit County. All papers are scheduled to be delivered by 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and by 7 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Some deliveries on Whidbey Island and outlying areas can take a little longer.

But occasionally that paper doesn’t arrive as expected. It may have been a complication with the printing press, causing delays down the delivery chain. Other delays can be caused by bad weather or floods.

“Weather is the biggest challenge we face,” said Brenda Hales, customer service manager at The Herald.

Drivers work hard throughout the morning, but not all of the contracted carriers have 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

If the paper doesn’t arrive as expected, readers have options. The Herald’s customer service department can be reached by phone at 425-339-3200 Monday through Friday between 5:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays, hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Or, readers can report an issue 24 hours a day by emailing customersvc@heraldnet.com. More subscription information can be found at www.heraldnet.com/subscribe.

If a reader calls before 10 a.m., a delivery can still be requested or the subscription account can be credited for the missed paper.

All calls to The Herald customer service department are handled by a local person.

“We take pride in being able to answer the phone with a human voice and personal touch,” Hales said of her team. “All the representatives are local and know what is going on in the county; they know the road closures.”

Herald Publisher David Dadisman says that readers can renew subscriptions, check on the delivery status of the day’s paper and put the delivery of the paper on hold during vacations by using the Subscriber Center on HeraldNet.

Dadisman said The Herald is working to have a better place on HeraldNet for readers to manage their newspaper subscriptions. “We offer the basic functions today, but in 2013 we will be improving and expanding the subscriber services online,” Dadisman said.

Each week, Here at The Herald provides an inside peek at the newspaper. Is there something you would like to know? Email executive editor Neal Pattison at npattison@heraldnet.com.

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