Santa is coming to town, and he doesn’t need GPS to know where you live! Here are 5 reasons why Santa is the logistics king (but transport technology is catching up).
In one magical night, Santa will deliver presents to millions of homes across the globe. But he only has a sleigh pulled by his trusty reindeer Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen to do it! How do all the presents fit without falling out of his sack? How does he know which child should get which present? How does he get them all delivered on time, even when the front doors are locked and he’s too big to fit down the chimney?
Just like Santa, the good folk who work in transport and logistics have to make the seemingly impossible a smooth reality with a happy ending. Let’s take a look at how Santa makes the magic happen, and why he’s the logistics king!
Santa specialises in air freight
In logistics lingo, Santa’s sack and sleigh are called ‘air freight’.
Back at North Pole HQ, a team of freight forwarder elves have planned his entire journey using IT systems to make sure nothing gets lost in transit. They care about safe transportation of goods almost as much as Santa does; he’s trained them well.
Santa’s round-the-world trip takes careful planning
A transport manager (this elf can be recognised by the golden bell on their cap) and a team of transport planners consider improvements to Santa’s route every year. Sometimes Santa likes to tweak his route to set himself new challenges, but the manager and planners make sure there are no nasty surprises for yetis and abominable snowmen when they look up from their mountain tops to see a sleigh whizzing over their head.
Because of how time zones work, Santa has 22 hours (starting at 10PM in the Far East and finishing at 7AM in the West) to deliver nearly two billion presents to over 400 million homes.
If that wasn’t enough to jingle your bells, he’ll be making over 300,000 stops per second. He knows this because the transport planner elves told him.
It’s a good job Santa’s going to get a cookie and a glass of milk at each house he visits – he’ll need to keep his energy up!
Santa’s sleigh is a triumph of aerospace engineering
If you’re lucky enough to get a close look at Santa’s sleigh (no staying up late to peek, that puts you on the naughty list!) you’ll see the aerospace engineers have done a fantastic job.
The sleigh’s surface is sleek and friction-free so it can travel at tremendous speeds. It’s fuelled on sweet dreams, so it’s very cheap to run. It even has a low carbon footprint because the reindeers’ diet has been improved so that they emit less methane gas into the air.
The HGV (heavy goods vehicle) technicians are on hand to keep the sleigh in top shape, and the apprentice elves work just as hard as anyone. They have to achieve sack repairs and rein changes in nanoseconds though, with Santa having so little time for pit stops on his big night. Formula One has got nothing on Festive Fun.
Let’s not forget Santa’s supply chain support!
It’s too easy to praise Santa alone for his logistics skills – after all, not for nothing is he called the Logistics King. However, Santa would be the first to doff a (woolly) cap to the elves back at the warehouse.
There’s the supply chain manager who helps Santa update his naughty-and-nice list and check it against the existing stock of presents in the warehouse.
Then there are all the very merry stock controller assistants who keep the shelves stocked with Santa’s chosen presents all year round. Their job isn’t easy, because young children are so affected by Christmas toy ads. They start the year thinking they want wooden rocking horses, but by Christmas Eve it’s all change and they’ve got to have the latest talking robot! The North Pole warehouse stock keeps changing every month to keep up, but the stock controller elves can handle it!
It sounds exhausting keeping up, but when things get tough, Santa relies on his North Pole HQ sales manager to explain the latest marketing technology and hot toy trends.
Santa’s coming to town – and don’t you forget it
Have you noticed there’s one transport role missing in this list of Santa’s little helpers?
It’s someone who’s VITAL to the transport and logistics industry, but Santa won’t have any truck with them.
Can you guess who we’re talking about?
That’s right – heavy goods vehicle drivers.
Why won’t Santa use them? He’s so proud of his achievements that he refuses to trust anyone else to deliver the presents on Christmas Eve!
Sorry, HGV drivers. Santa’s a proud man but we muggles still love you for getting our presents where they need to go. You’re heroes. It gets so busy this time of year, and we salute you even if Santa doesn’t!
If you want to be on Team Santa (or work in an industry that’s going places, with lots of openings for young people who want to be supported in their career) check out our Transport Careers Hub. It’s like a fantastic gift you never realised you wanted, and it’s officially better than socks.