You’ve got mail 2.0: Introducing self-service to the campus mailcenter
New tactics for mail room services in higher education.
Read time: 4 minutes
As campuses continue to address increasing package volume, many are turning to new tactics to cut down on packages’ real estate footprint, enable 24/7 access and improve security.
Since we last discussed campus mail, the United States Postal Service has updated its package volume numbers — and they have real implications for the next era of packages on campus. The number of packages sent each year has continued to surge, increasing by 12 percent in 2015 alone, while flat mail volume continued to fall, down another 4.2 percent.
Colleges and universities who embrace cutting-edge approaches to mail are rising to meet students’ expectations of immediate gratification (fueled by services like Amazon Prime) and receiving a return on investment. But the deluge of packages poses another challenge — they take up valuable square footage and need to be handled securely.
Handling package overload
With the rise of delivery retail services on campuses, including delivery prescription services, package security is a growing concern among students. Their packages are often mixed in among countless others’ and doled out in an opaque process they may not understand. All of these packages also conflict with the growing concern in higher education around the valuable resource of space.
According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education“ on many if not most of our campuses, inefficient space utilization is the norm.” The need for more space to make room for new and expanded amenities like gyms and innovation incubators can be an opportunity and a challenge. And sometimes, the volume of packages (and the outdated mailcenters that hold them) can be a hurdle to making the most of space.
For these reasons, it's more important than ever that you adopt a modern, secure, self-service approach that balances chain of custody and streamlined use of space.
 U.S. Postal Service. A Decade of Facts and Figures. 2016. https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/decade-of-facts-and-figures.htm
 Walter Simpson, CEM, LEED AP. "Cool Campus! A How-To Guide for College and University Climate Action Planning." AASHE. www.aashe.org/files/resources/cool-campus-climate-planning-guide.pdf
 Matt Lindner. "Colleges brace for package delivery rush." Internet Retailer. 11 November 2015. https://www.internetretailer.com/mobile/2015/11/10/colleges-brace-package-delivery-rush
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