Current Weather
The Spy FM

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
December 19, 2012

There are 760 million Christian children in the world, according to the Pew Research Center. Suppose Santa delivers one gift to each child. What kind of delivery workforce would Santa need?

We couldn’t get an interview with Santa. But we did get Paul Tronsor from FedEx and Mike Mangeot from UPS. They helped us go through the numbers.

Here are just a few of the positions Santa would need to fill to pull off Christmas. (Note: For the complete list, see the graphic at the bottom.)

* 46 international distribution centers, to allow Santa to reload as he crosses the globe. That means 400,000 workers for loading presents onto Santa’s sleigh.

* 60,000 workers to develop optimized flight plans and communicate with the FAA, secure flyover rights, etc.

* 7,000 people monitoring demand and tweaking his route in real time.

* 100 meteorologists to make sure Santa doesn’t fly into a blizzard.

* 40,000 people to help Santa clear customs.

To give you a sense of how big that team is, that’s 40 times the number of employees at FedEx:

Mike from UPS can think through all those teams and all those workers, but there’s still something that’s a mystery for him: the sleigh. Not only does it have to move fast enough to deliver 9,000 presents a second, but estimating conservatively that each present weighs about a pound, Mike says it would have to haul 760 million pounds of cargo. Which would take nearly three hundred 747 planes to haul. Or perhaps just nine reindeer.

This is what the whole workforce looks like: [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

3PM to 6PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

Listen Live Now!

6PM to 6:30PM Marketplace

Marketplace

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

View the program guide!

6:30PM to 7PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center