Delivery experts have attempted to calculate how Santa would make his impressive delivery to around 760 million children on Christmas night if he didn’t have magic on his side.
Experts from FedEx and UPS shared their calculations with National Public Radio’s Planet Money, estimating the resources they’d need to compete with Santa’s nine reindeer and unknown number of elves.
And it doesn’t come cheap. The delivery firm bosses estimate Santa would need a 12 million-strong operation with workers specializing in areas from sleigh-loading to border control and meteorology and that’s after the presents are wrapped.
Paul Tronsor from FedEx said: “It is really about international business because after all that’s what Santa is really doing here – a massive international operation…Santa is the head of this huge organization, so we expect Santa would need around 12million people. Santa Inc is massive, I don’t know of any company that has the number of employees that Santa does.”
Both companies admit Santa’s workforce probably doesn’t need to meet these exact figures – given he has the unknown advantage of festive magic on his side – but if he didn’t there’s no doubt he would be Chief Executive of the biggest organization on earth.
They predict he would need 46 international facilities each 5.2million square feet with 155 miles of conveyer belt and 9,000 employees working in present-loading alone.
They estimate a further 7,000 employees would be needed to tweak his route mid-air, with an extra 100 meteorologists to insure he avoids poor weather and 40,000 to make sure he has the right permits to cross the world’s borders and to deal with customs staff.
Mike Mangeot of UPS says the support staff under Santa’s leadership would span all sorts of professions.
“Whether it would be human resources, finance and accounting, network planning or regulatory compliance…You can’t just fly into a country, you have to get permissions to do that.”
And it’s the sleigh that’s makes the parcel-delivery bosses really envious.
“Santa’s sled has to be absolutely ginormous,” Mike Mangeot adds.
“If you assume conservatively that each of these 760 million children get one present which weighs one pound – that’s 760 million pounds, which would take 295 747 aircraft to haul. Interestingly that is about 50 more 747s than exist in the entire world so these reindeer are doing something impressive on Christmas night.”
What a FedEx Santa would need
- 12 million members of staff including 100 border experts, 100 meteorologists and 7,000 route planners
- 46 International packing facilities where he could re-load his sleigh through the night
- Each facility would be 5.2million square feet with 155 miles of conveyer belt and 9,000 packing staff
- His sleigh would need to carry a weight of at least 760 million pounds which would take 295 747 airplanes to carry
- 40,000 customs experts to help Santa navigate across the world’s borders