College students lead the way in the explosion of online and mobile app shopping. More and more, college students are using online shopping for groceries and meal deliveries to order textbooks, purchase clothing or electronics and even cleaning and dorm room supplies.

This boom in online shopping among college students is causing major package management problems for university mail services nationwide. Many of them are struggling to find adequate time and space needed to properly manage the daily influx of student packages and deliveries. 

In fact, university mail operations staff spend countless hours each day accepting, signing for, sorting and routing packages and deliveries for students. This ends up being extremely time-consuming and is ultimately an inefficient use of resources. 

Additionally, students often become easily frustrated if their package is lost or misplaced and they dislike the inconvenience of having to pick-up their deliveries during mailroom office hours only.

In this article, we will discuss how electronic lockers, like those offered by Parcel Pending by Quadient, can help higher education universities streamline their mail service operations thereby improving their students’ experiences and boosting mailroom productivity.

Saving Valuable Staff Time

College students are among the largest groups of online shoppers in the world, and the popularity of free or rapid shipping and the rise of e-commerce have led to an explosion of package deliveries on campuses. 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. Additionally, family and friends also regularly ship care packages and gifts to students. That adds up to hundreds of thousands of packages for universities to manage.

However, the reality is that campus mail services were designed for the majority of their volume (70 percent) to be mail and the remaining 30 percent to be packages. That is simply not the case in today’s world where online and mobile shopping are the go-to shopping methods for students and their family and friends.

As a result, campus mail operations – which often lack space – are overflowing with student packages. This daily influx of student packages forces 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 removes 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 mail staff 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 locker solution can reduce package management labor resources by as much as a third.

Streamline Last-mile Logistics

Electronic lockers help to streamline last-mile package delivery logistics for university mail operations. For example, when a package arrives on campus, it is delivered to the university mail services by a courier. The mail operations staff then sort and code the packages for electronic lockers according to their final on-campus destination. The staff then deliver the packages to the appropriate lockers on campus. The packages are placed into a secure locker and then the student is notified by text and/or email with a pin code to use when retrieving the package(s) privately and safely at any time. 

This simplifies the package delivery process for university staff, students and couriers alike. Students are able to pick-up their packages any time of the day without having to bother mail services  staff. As a result, campus mail operations also experience less calls from students trying to locate their packages and complaints from students who can’t find their package.

Enhancing the Student Experience

Electronic lockers make it quick, easy and convenient for students to retrieve their packages at their convenience so university mail services no longer need to worry about students rushing to the mail operations before it closes.

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

These smart locker systems also easily integrate with university mail tracking systems and come with 24/7 customer support to ensure a premium student experience.

Diminish Lost or Stolen Packages

These smart lockers also eliminate stolen packages and missed deliveries. Students and staff no longer need to worry about tracking the delivery time of a package. They can rest assured that their packages and online orders will remain safe and secure in the locker until they are retrieved. 

Easily Customizable

Each and every Parcel Pending by Quadient’s smart parcel locker also can be customized to fit the aesthetics of campus buildings and branded with university logos or mascots. 

Saving on Space

Electronic lockers save on prime real estate since they are not individually assigned like traditional mailboxes. Universities can therefore save valuable space!

What People are Saying about Electronic Parcel Lockers

More and more industry professionals are recommending that universities invest in tech-forward solutions like electronic parcel lockers to manage the daily influx of student package and deliveries:

“The benefits I like most about [Quadient] lockers is the ability to free up my time with the staff to do other things besides delivering packages and mail, the ease of use for the faculty and staff to pick up their parcels and mail, and the 24/7 access.”

—Matt Sloan, Senior Manager of Mailing and Warehouse Services, University of Pittsburgh 

Electronic university smart lockers solve a number of major pain points for university mail operations including saving valuable staff time, diminishing lost or stolen packages, eliminating package liability, removing stale packages without robust reporting, reducing operating costs and providing an enhanced student experience. 

Learn how Parcel Pending by Quadient’s university lockers can help you today.