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Mail Services: A Day In The Life

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | October 25, 2012 | No Comment |

While many offices on campus start their day around 8:30 a.m., Mail Services begins operations before 7:30 every morning.

The first stop of the day includes a visit to the East Bay post office. Mail is picked-up at 7:30, Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays during peak mail seasons. An initial sort is made on the platform in order to ease production at the College mail facility. This sortation consists of separating parcels for students and faculty and staff, in addition to faculty and staff accountable items such as express mail, certified mail, and pieces requiring delivery confirmation. Mixed letters and flats are also picked-up at that time. Mail is brought back and unloaded at the mail services office on campus.

All of the parcels that are separated for the students and faculty and staff accountable items are rolled over to the student mail operation for initial scanning and labeling. While that is being done, the administrative mail crew is sorting the letters and flats to various departments throughout the campus. The student letters and flats are also separated from this mix for later sortation into the student box section.

Once all the mail from the post office is sorted, the mail couriers bundle up the mail by department and depart to deliver all inbound mail and collect any outgoing and intercampus mail. In the meantime, the student mail crew opens up the service window at 8:30 a.m., to assist students with parcel delivery, stamp sales, and parcel mailing.

About mid-morning, UPS will drop off a load of parcels for processing and delivery. Throughout the day, drops are also made by FexEx, UPS Express, DHL, and private couriers for delivery.

On the return from morning deliveries, the couriers sort intercampus mail, meter all outgoing letters, flats, and parcels, and prepares for afternoon delivery of UPS parcels and any other accountable item.

On returning from the afternoon delivery, all outgoing mail that was collected is metered and prepared for postal collection and dispatch. All intercampus mail is sorted for the following day.

During the past fiscal year, Mail Services handled, from the US Postal Service alone, an average of 192 parcels, 1,198 flats, and 1,012 letters daily. The annual volume of all USPS mail was over 613,000 pieces. UPS dropped for delivery, almost 15,000 parcels, and FedEx added another 6,000. Mail Services also received almost 5,000 drop-offs from local florists, bakeries, and other miscellaneous couriers. There were almost 32,000 pieces of campus mail collected and redistributed.

One of the greatest challenges faced by Mail Services is navigating the tight quarters during peak mail seasons. Some peak times include the beginning of each new school year. Items such as rugs, bookshelves, clothing, surfboards, TV’s, and books are received during that time. Each holiday also increases letter mail and parcel volumes. Easter and Valentine’s Day are always big holidays. Other challenges include having students return their box key when they leave campus quarters and keeping up with the changes in mail regulations and prices. Despite the stressful times of heavy mail volume, tight quarters, and staffing changes, Mail Services maintains a sense of humor and gets the job done.

Under the direction of Kenny Greene, Mail Services is organized into two groups: student mail operations, which employs a manager and three employees, and administrative mail operations, which also have a manager along with three couriers. There are also two student workers that assist at the service window.

Mail Services operates as a miniature post office. Through them, you can purchase stamps, mail letters, and ship parcels via USPS and UPS. They also accept prepaid packages for all mailing/shipping companies.

Mail Services is located in the bottom level of the St. Philip Street parking garage. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information regarding services offered, please visit the Mail Services web page at mailservices.cofc.edu.

under: Business Affairs
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