Santa’s Forklift Fleet
If Santa Claus exists, he must have an impressive fleet of forklifts. How else do you prepare and load enough packages to give at least one present to over half a billion children – in a 24h period no less? But, exactly how big would his fleet be? What follows is an attempt to determine the size of Santa’s fleet, or, at the very least, come up with a workable estimate.
To begin, we’ll first need to determine the minimum number of presents Santa has to deliver before Christmas morning. Fortunately, the folks at the CIA offer statistics on both age (in this case, 0-14 years old) and religion (Christianity) that we can use to come up with a rough estimate. By combining the totals from each table, we arrive at a rough estimate of 526,000,000 children, each of whom receive one present from Santa Claus.
Next, we need to determine the average number of toys per load. To do this, we’ll use an average measurement of 8” x 6” x 3” for each package to determine the number of packages a standard GMA pallet could hold. At a load height of 40”, each pallet will hold a total of 533 presents. To accommodate a minimum of 1 present per child, we arrive at a rough total of 986,867 loads.
Finally, we need to establish how many forklifts Santa Claus would need in order to move a total of 986,867 loads in a 24 hour period. By dividing our total number of loads by 24, we’ll get the number of pallets per hour that must be moved at 41,119. If each forklift is capable of moving between 12 and 14 pallets per hour, Santa would need a fleet of between 2,937 and 3,426 forklifts.
Well, there you have it. As you can see, moving that many presents in such a short amount of time poses a logistics challenge for the ages. Fortunately, for Santa Claus, Stärke’s national accounts program makes it easy to purchase and manage a large forklift fleet.