Campuses to Gain Amazon Lockers


The volume of packages ordered from Amazon creates long lines at the post office. (Courtesy of Kevin Stoltenborg)

By Hannah Gonzalez

The volume of packages ordered from Amazon creates long lines at the post office. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)

Within the next academic year, Amazon lockers will be installed on campus to provide students with 24-hour access to their packages. These outdoor lockers will help decrease the congestion of the post office during peak periods, according to Marco Valera, vice president for facilities management.

Valera said the goal behind the lockers was to enable students to pick up packages outside of business hours.

“As you know, we don’t stay at the post office 24/7,” said Valera. “These are there 24/7.”

To ship to a locker on campus, a student ordering from Amazon would select the Fordham University Amazon locker location at checkout. Once the package is delivered to the locker, the student will be given a passcode to open the compartment. The student then has three days to pick it up before it is shipped back to Amazon’s facilities.

The two locations of the lockers will be outside of the Ram Van offices and Rodrigue’s Coffee House, to accommodate residential populations on both sides of the campus. The lockers will be painted green to match the campus, and both sets will be outdoors in order to provide all-day access. Lockers will also be installed at the Lincoln Center campus.

Valera said he hopes the new lockers will alleviate overflow at the package window.

“We’re hopeful that it will help with some of the backup at the post office,” Valera said.

Some students have expressed a desire to pick up packages outside of normal business hours.

Margaret Joyce, FCRH ’20, stated that the inconvenience of the post office is one of the reasons she doesn’t order from Amazon more frequently.

“It’s hard to get packages between classes, because that’s when everyone’s trying to pick them up,” said Joyce. “With the Amazon lockers, it’s convenient that you don’t have to go at a certain time.”

Ashley Qamar, GSB ’20, expressed her struggle to find time to pick up packages during the limited hours of the post office.

“The issue isn’t with the post office,” said Qamar. “The issue is that I don’t have time to pick up packages during those hours.”

The 24-hour locker service won’t face the same limitations, according to Valera.

The project has been in the works since Amazon began offering the service, according to Valera. The delayed installation is due to the backlog of locations requesting Amazon lockers.

“Amazon had just rolled out this service to universities and other institutions,” said Valera. “It’s relatively new.”

Valera said there are some limitations to the services the lockers provide; packages must be small enough to fit into its compartments. While a student could have one textbook delivered with no problem, ordering eight at once might prove to be a challenge, according to Valera.

“There are some limitations, like the size of the package,” said Valera. “But Amazon will tell you when you check out. If you’ve got a big package coming in, it won’t work.”

Joyce and Qamar both expressed their concern about the three-day timeframe for pickup.

“I would be worried about forgetting the package, because I forget my packages at the post office all the time,” said Joyce.

Qamar said that, though she appreciates the decrease in post office traffic the lockers would provide, she would ultimately choose the campus post office over the possibility of her package being returned.

“I would probably prefer to have my packages sent to the post office,” said Qamar. “It’s closer to my dorm, and they also send you notices and hold onto your packages for longer.”

Valera said the lockers will not necessarily be permanent fixtures on campus.

“It’s part of an agreement we have with Amazon,” said Valera. “If it doesn’t work for us, it can be ended.”