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Amazon Prime Popularity Prompts Mailroom Changes At UConn

A growing deluge of Amazon Prime deliveries is forcing the University of Connecticut to rethink its mailroom operations.

According to student paper The Daily Campus, the number of incoming packages has quadrupled this fall, with roughly half of them shipped by Amazon.

As a result, more than 3,000 packages are arriving each day at UConn’s Storrs campus alone, university officials said, forcing the local post office to extend its shifts to 3 a.m.

The surge is not surprising: Besides serving as a care-package conduit for parents, the e-tailer offers college kids a free six-month trial of the campus version of its Prime program, Amazon Student. For the unacquainted, that includes two-day delivery of textbooks, dorm-room appliances and “virtually everything you need,” a spokesperson said, in addition to music and video content, all at no extra cost. And students who opt to stay after the trial period ends pay half the usual $99-a-year membership fee for Prime.

To keep up with influx, UConn is redesigning its mailrooms, increasing staff and hours, and is considering alternative distribution systems to push the packages through.

The university is specifically eyeing nearby SUNY Binghamton and the University of Vermont, which created central sorting centers to ease the burden on residence hall mailrooms, officials said.