The journey of your Christmas toys

The most requested toy during this holidays, the LEGO® Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon™ , will have to make a long journey from Lapland, Finland, the headquarters of Santa Claus, to the millions of households expecting this popular Lego toy. To reach all the world’s children just in time, the toys that Santa has to deliver on December 24 should be manufactured and ready for sale generally between July and August each year . That’s the only way Santa can make an efficient delivery of Christmas toys on Christmas Eve.

infographics logistics of the season

Since Santa is well aware that he will have a lot of work, especially on Monday  December 21, when 30 million packages are expected to be delivered in the United States , he subcontracts international shipping companies with high-end technologies that are in different places of the world to get his deliveries prepared on time.

Like the majority of today’s toys, Santa manufactures them in China. In order to make sure they reach the United States on time, he uses different companies to transport the orders in containers from different ports. One of his favorites to import from China to the US is Shanghai (one of the largest ports in the world with a total of 3.63M TEUs in 2013).

The ports of Long Beach in California and New York are the U.S. ports that receive the greatest amount of products from abroad . If we take the Long Beach port as reference, for example, the transit time for cargo ranges from 14 to 41 days depending on whether it is direct or has stops at other ports.

Once the vessels are discharged in Long Beach, the cargo has to clear customs, a process that can be initiated up to five days before the ship arrives, if you have the appropriate online tools to do so.

Santa has several collection and storage points located throughout the country in order to manage the deliveries.

Going back to the LEGO® Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon™, if its final destination is a child from California or from any other neighboring West Coast state, chances are the toy will travel from the port by truck, but if it is going to other states it can be transported by train.

Once it arrives at its final destination, it is time for the magic elves to start working and help Santa to load the sleigh with gifts that thanks to his reindeer he will leave right under every Christmas tree this holiday season. When finished, according to government data from Lapland, he will have traveled about 316,899,308 miles. 

Importing From Asia In 2022

Discover how to import or export from/to China, India or Vietnam and avoid delays on your cargo. Includes Incoterms and documents.

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Klaus Lydsal

"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"

Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers