If Santa Claus was a Corporation, He’d Need 12 Million People to Distribute Gifts

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Outsourcing government work demands a lot of manpower. But what if Santa Claus was replaced by the private sector?


The company filling in for Old St. Nick would have to be “ginormous,” says Mike Mangeot, an official with UPS. Mangeot and Paul Tronsor from Fedex were recently asked by NPR to calculate what it would take for a corporation to replicate what Santa does each Christmas, delivering toys to 750 million Christian children.


They concluded the operation would require about 12 million employees.


For starters, the business would need 46 international distribution facilities employing about 400,000 people to load toys onto Santa’s sleigh. Another 3.3 million workers would have to transport the various toys and games to the distribution centers.


More than 7 million “elves” would be on “general assignment,” while half a million people would have to handle the company’s human resources, accounting and administrative duties, not to mention filing flight plans, obtaining flyover and landing rights. Santa would also need 40,000 customer liaisons to clear customs in various countries.


“It is really about international business because after all that’s what Santa is really doing here—a massive international operation,” Tronsor told NPR.


He added: “Santa Inc is massive, I don’t know of any company that has the number of employees that Santa does.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees (All Things Considered, NPR)

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees (by Chana Joffe-Walt, NPR)


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