Think you’ve got problems aligning order processing with fleet management, finding the right staffing levels, and getting all those Christmas purchases out to your eager customers? What if you only had a team of reindeer and 24 hours to do it all in?
At long last the question that has weighed upon the minds of many logistics professionals is about to be answered … what would Santa do?
Swedish business software firm IFS has calculated the optimal route Father Christmas would need to take to complete his global delivery of 120 million packages. And being Swedes, they probably know what they’re talking about on account of being that bit closer to the North Pole.
You can view the route for yourself here. The first thing to note is that he’d have to travel at 25 times the speed of sound to get the job done. That’s 19,210 mph, and 144,000 miles that need to be covered.
In addition, Rudolf and his team of fellow reindeer would have to munch their way through 3,660 tonnes of carrots, while Santa would have to somehow get through 4.7 million pints of brandy.
At least now we know why he always seems so jolly. Ho ho ho, indeed.
Calculating Santa’s optimal route using the IFS scheduling engine required a number of assumptions to be made in order to arrive at the total of 120 million presents to be delivered:
- About one third of the world’s population are believed to celebrate Christmas
- Kids under three have no idea who Santa is and over eight they no longer believe in him. Fact.
- Assuming US demographics hold true, about 10 % of the population is this age range: so that’s 200 million potential believers worldwide
- Assuming 10% of kids work out the “Santa” situation sooner, 10% have parents that don’t uphold the Santa myth for ideological reasons, 10% who don’t uphold gift-giving for financial reasons and 10% who have different beliefs on Christmas – IFS reckon that leaves an estimated number of potential believers at 120 million – assuming two kids per family, that’s 60 million chimneys to squeeze down.
Hats off to IFS for finding a light-hearted connection to Christmas.