Colleges and universities around the nation have been experiencing a major influx in the number of daily packages and deliveries they receive for students. Some estimates suggest that for every student approximately 31 packages are delivered every year, and this rate is expected to grow by more than 13% annually.

As a result, many campus mail services are often overflowing with student packages and staff are having to spend countless hours accepting, signing for, sorting and routing packages and deliveries for students. 

The good news, however, is that there is a smart technology solution available to help colleges and universities solve their package problems. It’s called an electronic locker system.

Below, we will discuss some of the key smart locker features and how they help to transform college and university mail services:

How Electronic Lockers Work at Colleges & Universities

A smart locker system is specifically designed to remove the chaos of on-campus mail delivery and package management by assuming all customer service responsibilities for mail and package delivery, notification and retrieval. The step-by-step process is simple:

  1. Student packages arrive via courier at a central receiving area on campus.
  2. The mail operations staff sort and code the packages for electronic lockers according to their final on-campus destination.
  3. Staff deliver the packages to the appropriate locations on campus and place them into a secure storage locker.
  4. Students are notified by text and/or email with a passcode to use when retrieving the package(s) privately and safely at any time. 
  5. At their convenience, the student arrives at the locker and enters their unique access code, accessing the locker and retrieving their package.

Electronic lockers, like those offered by Parcel Pending by Quadient, help to simplify the parcel delivery process for university staff, students and couriers alike. These lockers keep packages safe and secure and allow students to retrieve their packages at their convenience 24/7.

How an Electronic Locker System Saves Valuable Staff Time

Campus mail services were originally designed for the majority of their parcel volume (70 percent) to be mail and the remaining 30 percent to be packages. However, with the boom in online shopping nowadays this is simply no longer the case. In fact, campus mail services – which often lack space – are overflowing with student packages on a daily basis. This ongoing influx of student packages causes mail services staff to spend countless hours accepting and sorting packages and deliveries and facilitating pick-up.

Parcel Pending by Quadient’s university electronic locker system helps to remove the chaos of on-campus mail delivery and package management by assuming all of the customer service responsibilities for mail and package delivery, notification and retrieval. In fact, up to 80 percent of packages can be delivered directly to parcel lockers freeing up staffers to focus on other tasks. This helps to significantly reduce the amount of labor and time required to manage and deliver packages. In fact, Parcel Pending by Quadient’s intelligent locker solution can reduce package management labor resources by as much as a third.

“Incoming parcel volumes are at record highs, and students have elevated expectations around how quickly they receive their packages. Decision-makers are not setting themselves up for success if they don’t assess their end-to-end process and embrace technology so campus mail rooms are equipped to address evolving needs.” —Amanda Taylor, public relations advisor, FedEx

How Smart Lockers Reduce Lost or Stolen Packages

These smart lockers also help to eliminate stolen packages and missed deliveries because each and every package for delivery and pickup is electronically logged for full chain-of-custody tracking. With electronic parcel lockers, package recipients don’t need to worry about package theft, misplacement, or damage. Each package/delivery is safely and securely placed in the parcel locker by mail staff or directly by the carrier, who require special access to do so. Students and staff are also notified immediately when their package is delivered, and it stays safely in the parcel locker until they are ready to retrieve it. 

How Electronic Lockers Elevate the Student Experience

Electronic lockers make it quick, easy and convenient for students to retrieve their packages at their convenience. Students and their family and friends who send them packages no longer need to obsessively track and confirm the parcel delivery. They can now rest assured that their packages and online orders will be delivered and remain safe and secure in the locker until they are retrieved. Likewise, university mail services no longer need to worry about students rushing to the mail services before it closes to retrieve their packages. This helps to provide a premium experience for students while reducing staff time so it’s a win-win.

Built to Protect Packages

Additionally, these steel lockers are built to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions, such as rain, wind or snow. The lockers are theft-proof to protect packages and keep them safe and secure until the student retrieves them.

Integrate with University Mailroom Software

Smart University lockers also easily integrate with Quadient’s proprietary tracking software, WTS or existing university mail tracking systems, and come with 24/7 customer support to ensure a seamless package management experience.

Intelligent locker solutions are positively transforming the way college and university mail services operate. With online shopping poised for continued growth, it is vital that colleges and universities invest in tech-forward solutions like electronic lockers to solve their package management needs.

Learn more about electronic lockers here.