Alameda Hall is new hub for 200 Amazon Lockers
September 27, 2018
The campus community can now order anything from textbooks to toiletries on Amazon and have it delivered to Alameda Hall, where 200 lockers of various sizes are accessible with a unique code.
This first wave of lockers are available daily between 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., conveniently open late at night and on the weekends—a feature that the Campus Post Office does not offer.
One of the main reason for installing the lockers was to alleviate the volume of packages getting delivered to the campus mailroom.
“With the advent of Amazon and everybody ordering everything online, our package volume has gone up almost over 40 percent in the last three years,” Director of University Support Services Ed Merryman said. “Our actual letter mail has dropped considerably, but everybody orders everything online now.”
According to senior Elena Tozzi, who works in the Campus Post Office, the majority of packages that come through are from Amazon.
“I hope that these lockers remove the long waiting lines that we have experienced for the past few years,” Tozzi said. “The large amount of Amazon packages we receive on a weekly basis causes those of us working to spend most of our shifts sorting Amazon packages, slowing down overall productivity.”
Currently, when a package is shipped to the university, it first goes to Central Recieving to be logged in, sorted and then the recipient is notified for pick-up.
Jack Hardin, a Mailing Services Student Manager, said the lockers will lessen the burden.
“Central Recieving is where all the mail that is addressed to the school comes, so currently this is all Amazon, UPS and FedEx mail,” Hardin said. “From there, we sort it based on names and box numbers. I think that they will be really good for students as it eliminates the middleman [Central Receiving] for the Amazon mail. It would also make our jobs a lot easier as we get hundreds of packages everyday.”
According to Merryman, the university has received about 5,000 packages in the last three weeks, and last school year averaged 400-500 student packages a day.
Merryman hopes that other community members besides students will take advantage of the lockers as well.
“We get a lot of faculty and staff packages,” Merryman said. “A lot of people don’t want stuff sent home, sitting on their front porch to be stolen, so they’re sending it to work. We understand that, but we really don’t have the labor to be dealing with personal packages.”
Indeed, the Amazon lockers offer a safe alternative to having boxes dropped off on a doorstep, and even saves the online giant time and money.
According to a Sept. 23 article by The New York Times written by Seattle-based tech correspondent Karen Wise, “Offering reliable, fast delivery has been essential for Amazon’s growth, but that door-to-door delivery is also expensive. Shipping costs ate up 22 percent of Amazon’s online sales in the second quarter, up from 16.5 percent two years earlier.”
The lockers were installed in Alameda Hall on Sept. 12, the Wednesday before classes started, but did not go live until 6:42 a.m. on Sept. 21, the Friday of week one.
“Originally they were supposed to be in on the last week of August, but there were some delays on Amazon’s side,” Merryman said. “They had kept guaranteeing us that [the lockers] would be installed before school started.”
The lockers were initially scheduled to be installed in Nov. 2017 in the basement of Benson Memorial Center.
However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the project was delayed.
Other locations on campus were then scouted, with the Learning Commons as a contender and then scrapped due to to the cost-prohibitive existing structures. It was decided in March 2018 that Alameda Hall would be the best location.
“It would’ve been nice to be in Benson because the campus Post Office is there, students are in there a lot, but Alameda Hall is not that far away,” Merryman said.
Santa Clara began conversations about installing the lockers in April of 2017, with other schools following closely behind.
“Amazon has really started to market to colleges and universities,” Merryman said. “Initially when they first came out, their business plan was just go after apartments, and then they saw there was such a need.”
Since their installation, Merryman said that he’s received inquiries about the lockers from both St. Mary’s College of California and the University of San Francisco.
Amazon Lockers are often found at grocery stores such as Whole Foods, 7-11 and Safeway. However, the lockers on campus are 24 feet deep, nearly double the size of those at grocery stores.
To use the locker when purchasing an item from Amazon, opt to pick up your package from an Amazon Locker rather than shipping to an address.
Select “Search for an Amazon Pickup location near you” and choose “Amazon Locker—Broncos at Santa Clara University.”
Upon receiving a unique pickup code, go to Alameda Hall and follow the on-screen instructions. Merryman recommends that students search for “Broncos” and add it to their Amazon address book for easy checkout.
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