Mail delivery has changed. So too has the way in which students receive their mail. Now, the University of Connecticut could be the latest institution to pursue a new means of mail delivery following major backups in student packages.
Per a report from UConn's student publication, The Daily Campus, an "unprecedented" number of unsorted packages have been arriving on campus in recent semesters, prompting the university to begin its search for a new delivery solution.
UConn's predicament mirrors that of many other campuses nationwide, as the number of packages received by the university for residential students has surged alongside the rise in online shopping. Part and parcel to the influx of packages, many universities have also seen a dearth of letter mail, placing new strain on the mail delivery process of old.
Thankfully there are contemporary mailroom solutions available that are designed specifically with the campus mailroom -- and tech-savvy students -- in mind. Tethering mail deliveries to a campus card number and account, introducing automated kiosks to cut wait times and pushing package notifications directly to students' mobile devices have all helped to bring snail mail up to speed.
A long-term solution is yet to be decided, but UConn mailroom staff have taken action to remedy the immediate problems by modifying existing infrastructure to help ensure that packages are processed more efficiently. “Primarily, the changes will include installing additional shelving and rearranging the mailrooms to provide more access for our staff to view and retrieve packages,” says Logan Trimble, executive director of building services at the university.
UConn maintains individual mailrooms at various residence halls, employing a decentralized model to mail delivery. It's a model that has worked well traditionally, but with the trend in mailroom deliveries shifting from letter mail to packages, this model can be problematic. The decentralized method would see a university sort packages at each residence hall mailroom individually, but the process can become inefficient particularly as the number of packages increases.
UConn is keen to the trend, however, and has plans to refine its mail system. University officials are discussing the possibility of moving to a central location for sorting, as well as discussing new distribution systems to get packages delivered sooner, Trimble says.
Here's more on how universities can be prepared for the new trends in mailroom delivery.