FAQ: Mail and Packages

Closing some campus buildings as a strategy for mitigating COVID-19 transmission has required changes to mail and package delivery. This FAQ addresses employee questions related to receiving and sending mail and parcels.


What is ISU Central Receiving?

Located at 2105 East Lincoln Way, it's the university central clearinghouse for incoming truck freight. As of March 23 and on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, this service also will include deliveries from parcel vendors such as FedEx, UPS, DHL and Spee Dee. Central Receiving drivers make the "last-mile" delivery to campus buildings.

What is ISU Postal and Parcel Services?

Located in the General Services Building, it's the university central clearinghouse for all campus mail as well as mail and packages arriving on campus via the U.S. Postal Service. Postal and parcel staff sort and deliver these items to campus building locations. Staff also pick up outgoing mail and packages being shipped via U.S. Postal Service, DHL, FedEx or UPS. The staff is trying to maintain normal delivery routes and times.

How is mail being handled with buildings locked?

Postal and parcel staff have received access to all campus buildings equipped with key card entry. Occupants of locked buildings without key card entry need to make arrangements to pick up their campus mail. Call 294-4283 to do this.

Can I still send outbound mail and packages?

Yes. If your building is locked and not equipped with key card entry, you'll need to bring your package to Postal and Parcel Services, 184 General Services Building. If your building has key card entry, take your package to your building's mail location and a postal and parcel staff member will pick it up.

How are inbound packages being handled?

There is no change in delivery for packages shipped via U.S. Postal Services. Effective March 23, packages arriving via a private shipping vendor (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) will be delivered to ISU Central Receiving, where staff will coordinate with campus building supervisors to schedule "last-mile" delivery to campus buildings. Employees will learn from their building supervisor when and where to pick up their package. The process is evolving and will be fine-tuned as time passes.

How do I find out who my building supervisor is?

Locate your building on ISU's building information website and click on "show building information."

What if the staff member who handles mail for my department is working from home?

It's up to each department to identify a substitute to handle these duties.

How quickly can Central Receiving log my package and get it on a truck for campus delivery?

Packages that arrive via an express service or are labeled with temperature-sensitive requirements leave the facility within 30 minutes. The goal for all ground parcels is same-day delivery to campus buildings. With this added stop to package delivery, some delay is unavoidable.

How can I learn if my FedEx or UPS package made it to Central Receiving?

Use Central Receiving's new tracking tool,

Which campus locations will continue to receive direct delivery from UPS, FedEx, etc.?

The list is still being finalized, but the criteria include location and package content (for example, does it require refrigeration or contain live specimens?). Buildings with direct delivery include the College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames Laboratory facilities, Chemistry Stores in Gilman Hall, Printing and Publications Building, and the Memorial Union.

Can I pick up my package at Central Receiving?

This option is available though discouraged in most instances because it impedes Central Receiving's process efficiency. Employees who feel their package is critical in nature should:

  • Verify it was delivered to Central Receiving using the tracking tool,
  • (Once confirmed) Call Central Receiving, 294-1804, to schedule your pickup (8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday). It's possible your package already is on a truck heading to campus, so pickup wouldn't be an option.

Who decides what is critical in nature?

Central Receiving staff must rely on shipping labels to know that a package contains time- or temperature-sensitive material.

Should I be concerned with opening mail or packages?

There's always an element of risk in any parcel or piece of mail. Postal and parcel staff now wear latex gloves to sort mail, and sanitize their work counters multiple times each day.

Can I have my ISU packages delivered to my home?

No, not at this time.

Can I ship personal packages to campus?

No. Personal use of university resources and services is against both university policy and state law.