A quick analysis of the Santa Claus’ huge warehouse
We all know Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, or Papá Noel here in Spain. He delivers presents (or coal) to all the kids around the world the night of the 24th of December. But… have any of you ever thought about the facilities he must have to storage all the presents he manufactures in his toy factories? Well, you don’t need to, as in a moment of boredom I have already done it!
It is well known that Santa lives in the Pole North, so we can assume he has there also the warehouse where he stores the presents. I tried to do some digging in the internet about land prices in the Pole North, but sadly it does not appear. Anyway, we can safely assume it must be really cheap the cost of the land over there, so the space in the warehouse is definitely not a problem.
As Santa only needs to deliver once a year his whole inventory, a LIFO storage system, with all the pallets on the floor would be the most suitable and easiest arrangement. No aisles needed neither, remember you are delivering all your storage at once, once a year, no need of picking in between. So just a big island of pallets on the floor. Because of the cheap prices of the land, automatization would significantly increase the costs due the high ammount of pallets Santa handles, and would suppose a incredible high investment he can easily avoid by just storing at floor level.
But, how many pallets? Lets assume the mean number of present boxes per pallet is of 50 units. Just one level of pallets, to avoid crushment (in Pole North we have plenty of space anyway). Based on the global ammount of kids (0-15 years old), delivering a present per kid, it would be needed just around 45.7 million pallets. Taking into account the proportions of an europallet (Saint Nicholas is european after all), it is translated into a pallet island of 43.87 square kilometers. That is around one third of the city of Valencia, or 13 times Central Park.
This calculations only lead us to many more questions. How many elves (the Santa’s pickers) would he need for Christmas? What would be the holding costs? Which picking methods does he use? How many SKUs is he holding?
I think we should skip the Ford’s visit and go to the Santa’s warehouse.