Our Blog

Discover the Top On-Campus Delivery Trends Shaping 2024

Even with the rise of the digital era, most on-campus mail centers have remained largely unchanged, relying on manual procedures that fail to meet contemporary mail and package delivery requirements, rendering them outdated. Initially, incoming mail mainly consisted of letters that could be quickly sorted and distributed into individual mailboxes without alerts notifying recipients of new arrivals. However, campus mailrooms face a burgeoning challenge with the proliferation of online shopping, social media purchasing, and free overnight shipping. They must not only manage incoming mail and packages for faculty and staff but also cater to the student body’s needs.

In the current landscape, e-commerce is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2029—an alarming statistic, particularly considering the volume of student, faculty, and staff orders encompassed within. To address the escalating influx of incoming mail and establish a robust foundation for the present and future, it is imperative to integrate intelligent tools and technologies that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of campus mailrooms. Below, we explore critical areas in which university and college campuses can invest in 2024 to effectively tackle and conquer this challenge.

Parcel lockers create a modern response to on-campus deliveries

Over the past decade, campuses have witnessed a rapid surge in on-campus deliveries, placing growing pressure on campus mailrooms to handle incoming parcels and mail effectively, straining resources. The uptick in deliveries within existing mailrooms has necessitated adaptation within constrained spaces, resulting in additional hurdles such as prolonged wait times in mail service center lines or instances of lost or damaged packages. To address this, universities and colleges are moving quickly to adopt new technology this year to help streamline operations.

In 2024, parcel lockers will emerge as a technology primed for heightened investment. Smart lockers present a cost-efficient and streamlined approach to delivery and collection, leveraging automation to elevate convenience and organization. Parcel lockers provide a 24/7, self-service option for package collection, complete with a robust tracking system for full visibility throughout the chain of custody. Automated notifications alert recipients when their package is ready for pickup, empowering them to retrieve it within their own schedule, even outside traditional mailroom hours, thereby improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In addition to traditional parcel lockers, schools can also integrate rear-loading lockers, which are especially beneficial for campus mailrooms with legacy layouts or limited space.

Campus Hub offers new opportunities for higher ed

Parcel lockers possess capabilities that transcend conventional package and mail delivery, providing universities with versatile options to craft a contemporary experience throughout the campus. One innovative application is the integration of a Campus Hub, a key offering for campuses looking to elevate their on-campus distribution offerings in 2024.

Campus Hub is an innovative offering for university campuses that creates a campus-wide distribution system. The Campus Hub distribution method is a simple concept – lockers act as an exchange point for various items and goods through an intelligent process that spans the entire campus. Campus Hub combines Quadient’s Web Tracking System (WTS), or the school’s current tracking system, with Parcel Pending by Quadient’s intelligent lockers to create a full chain of custody for all goods and assets distributed and received through the locker system. This helps solve two significant challenges in higher education: the ability to do more with less staff, labor, and resources and the need to create additional revenue-generating services on campus.

How your institution can harness the power of Campus Hub

With Campus Hub, universities and colleges can expand their parcel lockers beyond the campus mailroom, creating an end-to-end distribution system within unique campus spaces. This includes:

  • On-campus Food Pantries
  • Library Materials
  • Bookstore Merchandise
  • Electronics
  • Class Equipment
  • On-Campus Dining
  • Student Mail services
  • Move-in/Move-out Materials
  • Event Tickets

Collecting, returning, or dropping off items via parcel lockers ensures a secure, seamless process for senders and recipients. Timestamps maintain the chain of custody for each department, reducing the need to implement and maintain multiple systems. With the ability to move all sorts of goods and items on-campus quickly, easily, and securely, colleges and universities provide a safe, contactless, and premium student experience while saving valuable staff time and resources.

The future of on-campus delivery is now

In the coming year, we anticipate a sustained emphasis on the adaptation of campus mailrooms to accommodate the rise in on-campus deliveries. Intelligent solutions, such as parcel lockers, will play a pivotal role in optimizing delivery processes and fostering a modern, interconnected campus environment through offerings like the Campus Hub. These advancements will establish a smart, adaptable foundation that extends beyond the confines of the mailroom, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for students, faculty, and staff.

Click below and download our white paper to learn more about our predictions for higher education in 2024.

2024 HE forecast