It is that time of year again! Christmas is upon us and we are all searching online for the best deals on gifts and rushing to the shops to get those final festive finishing touches.
It is estimated that between 400-500 million children are expecting a visit from Santa this Christmas, let alone any adults that might be lucky enough to receive gifts.
This being the case, Santa will need to deliver over half a billion packages. Like many children, logistics professionals may ask how Santa manages to delivers all of these gifts in time for Christmas Day?
Luckily, Santa is not alone and has extra help, and no, I’m not referring to Santa’s elves! Instead, he uses Mega Ships that can carry up to 20,000 containers, millions of Christmas gifts all in one journey.
Shipping, delivery companies and retailers also step-up to assist Santa, planning the festive season well in advance, they use data from previous years to calculate the sales and manpower required.
Working with leading retailers, Santa ensures that most items that have been ordered have been delivered via ships over the past few months and housed in warehouse storage.
There has been a higher demand than ever this year for online purchases for Christmas. Many people have opted to complete their Christmas shop entirely online to be delivered right to their door.
The backlog from Black Friday and Cyber Monday has caused delays that are threatening delivery dates for the holiday season; even Santa is finding it challenging to catch up.
Last minute shoppers may be disappointed as UPS and Amazon have mentioned that they are experiencing delays and these are expected to get even worse in the final week before Christmas.
A Pilot for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (one of Amazons largest cargo contractors), Robert Kirchner has recently mentioned “It looks like the next three weeks are going to be challenging…particularly with serving Amazon”.
The Telegraph mentioned retailers have estimated that “£4.4 billion worth of gifts will not reach homes in time for Christmas Day”. Santa is developing a ‘sleigh delay’ contingency plan in response.
On the 15th December 2017, the USA once again welcomed Free Shipping Day in which more than 1000 stores offered free shipping with guarantees to deliver items before Christmas Eve.
US Free Shipping Day has generated more sales than Black Friday for the entire region in the last 3 years; this is great for the US economy but not so great for Santa or his logistics and retail helpers!
Fortunately, over the past decade there has been an increase in the size of ships and the volume of goods they are able to carry, so for the most part Santa and the Mega Ships can keep up with rising demand.
Shipping is one of the most cost effective modes of transport which enables retailers to provide such discounts and free shipping – and it is a transport method which we predict Santa will rely on for decades to come! Good luck to Santa and all of his logistics and retail helpers this festive season!
Written by Amber Pittard – Global Account Manager at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions