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How to Deliver MORE to Your Campus with the Power of Parcel Lockers

In 2024, global e-commerce sales are projected to soar to $6 trillion, constituting approximately 20% of all retail transactions worldwide. In 2023 alone, the US Department of Commerce reported sales amounting to $285 billion by the close of the fourth quarter in 2023. Within this expansive market, college students command a significant share, and with 594 million students expected to be enrolled in higher education worldwide by 2040, it is safe to say that on-campus deliveries will continue to soar.

The challenges posed by e-commerce for higher education institutions have been especially exacerbated following the COVID-19 pandemic, as students became more accustomed to purchasing both educational tools and personal items online. This surge has left colleges and universities grappling with an influx of packages, raising new challenges in managing these deliveries in a timely, organized, and seamless manner.

Below, we explore the challenges increased deliveries pose for university and college campuses and how smart solutions can help overcome these obstacles, elevating your institution to the next level.

The challenges posed by surging on-campus deliveries

The increase in e-commerce deliveries has overwhelmed traditional campus mailrooms, emphasizing the need for more efficient methods to manage the escalating volume of packages. This influx creates dissatisfaction among various stakeholders: the overburdened staff handling deliveries and the students and faculty eagerly awaiting their parcels. A recent Spaces4Learning survey highlights these challenges, revealing that 57% of mail services face space and storage issues, 60% report student frustration due to delays, 35% struggle with insufficient staff, and 13% experience long lines for package retrieval.

To streamline package distribution, many universities have established designated collection hours at mailroom centers. However, these hours often align with employee schedules rather than those of students, who may be attending classes or studying during these times. For students living far from the mailroom on expansive campuses, integrating package pickups into their daily routines requires careful planning. Even if they make it to the mailroom during operating hours, they’re often met with long lines of impatient peers, all eager to collect their packages quickly.

How to effectively streamline campus deliveries

Smart parcel lockers are helping to combat the rise in on-campus deliveries by creating a cost-effective, seamless delivery and collection process that enhances convenience and organization for students and staff. With smart lockers, you can offer 24/7 self-service collection, complete with a robust tracking system for full visibility throughout the chain of custody. Automated notifications alert recipients as soon as their delivery is ready for pickup, even outside traditional mailroom hours.

In addition to traditional package lockers, schools can also implement rear-loading lockers, which are particularly advantageous for campus mailrooms with legacy layouts or limited space. These lockers efficiently integrate into available space to meet the unique needs of campus mailrooms.

Parcel lockers can also play an important role that extends beyond conventional mail and package delivery services, creating a modern, interconnected campus environment. This is particularly beneficial for campus services like food pantries, on-campus libraries, campus bookstores, and more.

Innovation extends beyond traditional package delivery with Campus Hub

Campus Hub is an innovative offering for university and college campuses that creates a campus-wide distribution system with the lockers acting as an exchange point for various items and goods through an intelligent process that can span 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.

Unique features of Campus Hub include:
  • Complete chain of custody for all items delivered or received on campus, including items that cannot be delivered directly to a locker
  • Ability to use lockers for both pick-ups and returns of parcels and other assets
  • Mail distribution on the same communication platform
  • The ability for the locker system to talk to other software already on campus, enabling different departments to easily leverage it: Library, bookstore, IT department, cafeteria, dining hall, and more
  • Maintain the same collection and returns process for students and staff regardless of use case, making user adoption easy and seamless

By integrating parcel lockers on campus, you are not simply purchasing a locker system. Instead, you are creating a diverse platform for distributing goods and items via a self-service solution that leverages existing processes to offer enhanced visibility, security, and improved efficiencies that scale as your campus grows.

Choose the best partner to deliver MORE to your campus

Parcel Pending by Quadient lockers are the best solution to efficiently manage the growing influx of on-campus deliveries while helping to create a modern campus distribution experience. By choosing Parcel Pending, your university or college campus gains:

  • More Efficiency: Streamline package delivery to minimize the time and resources needed for staff management.
  • More Automation: Automatic notification system for instant alerts when packages are ready for pickup, eliminating the need for manual tracking.
  • More Security: Our lockers boast state-of-the-art security measures, including individual access codes and real-time monitoring, eliminating the risk of loss, theft or damage, as packages are no longer left unattended.
  • Improved Student Experiences: Enhance the student experience with 24/7 package retrieval that eliminates long lines and gives access outside of traditional mailroom hours.

Campus delivery made simple

As competition for students becomes more intense, some things will move from amenities to necessities. Institutions that adapt will not be subject to the fads of the day but will solve problems, provide value, and increase satisfaction for everyone in the chain of custody, from delivery to collection to everything in between.

Contact us today to learn more

Download our eBook “Higher Ed’s Delivery Revolution: Building a stronger future through the power of parcel lockers” by clicking the image below to gain more insights into the power of parcel lockers in higher education.

Higher ed's delivery revolution