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Santa's logistics

Updated on 06 Mar 2024
4 min read
Ocean FCL
Ocean LCL
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the time of the year to revisit the world’s oldest debate. It’s been argued, time and time again, that every year on Christmas Eve, a jolly old man donning a thick white beard descends the chimneys of households around the world. All through Christmas Eve and the wee hours of December 25th, this jolly fellow, commonly known as ‘Santa’, busies himself with delivering presents and joy.

As you can imagine, logistics wise, it’s a nightmare for the jolly old man. Which is why this mysterious Santa fellow employs a fine selection process. He combs through his recipients. Let’s take a look at how Santa manages when the festive season comes around.

Warning: Santa reality spoilers ahead.

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

Let’s first calculate the number of children in the US Santa has to deliver presents to.

A study found a dip in belief in Santa by children between the ages five and seven. So let’s take the average and assume that children aged six and under believe in Santa. In other words, Santa is responsible for delivering gifts to children aged six and under. After they turn seven, their parents will have to deal with this heavy burden.

We’re also going to need to filter this by considering only Christian children (even though this tradition has more than transcended religion). Some 70% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. According to UN data, there are 24.2 million children aged six and below in the US. That gives us 16.94 million Christian children.

Let’s then go ahead and assume 90% of them have been good, pretended to be good, or are at least presents-worthy come Christmas. A little disillusioned, we know. That represents over 15 million presumably well-behaved children Santa will have to make deliveries to come the night of the 24th.

Suppose these 15 million children head to bed at a decent hour of 9pm on Christmas Eve (do we hear shouts of joy from parents?). Suppose they manage a full nine hours before jolting awake and running to the Christmas tree (yep, we definitely hear wine glasses clinking). That means 15 million presents in nine hours. We’re now talking deliveries for nearly 1.7 million children per hour! That’s a lot of sleds for Rudolph and gang to climb. And that’s just in the US. How will Santa’s logistics team manage?

Santa’s logistics: Through the frosty air

As with all shipments, Santa will have to prepare his cargo way in advance. By using iContainers’ search engine, he can get a shipping quote from the Rudolph Line in under 15 seconds! His packing list is going to have to be immaculate in order to prevent paperwork delays. Fortunately, given Santa’s many years of practice, he knows the process like the back of his palm!

Despite the quick reservation time, it’s still quite a journey from the North Pole. Rudolph and crew will have to traverse the Northwest Passage cutting through Greenland and parts of Canada to get to the US mainland. Because of the relatively lower carrier schedule reliability, he may have to hire more elves this festive season to ensure a timely delivery.

Here’s a look at their route and the parties involved!


He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

Fortunately, shipment delay is a concept unbeknownst to Santa. Thanks to Santa’s logistics efficiency, he has his way of ensuring he delivers those gifts on time! Chances of US customs conducting a random check on Santa’s cargo are low. That’s given that only 5% of US-bound cargo are actually inspected . Plus, we’re not sure customs officers would be too interested in spending the festive period looking at teddy bears’ skeletal systems!

Thanks to Rudolph and his magical crew, Santa doesn’t have to deal with inter-modal transportation. Given the large amount of cargo he has, it would set Santa back a lot in terms of delays. In any case, we’ve heard that ports have waived off all delay fees for reasons of being jolly.

For all you impatient folks, you can track your Santa delivery here!

From all of us at iContainers to our readers: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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