UNT Logistics Expert Explains Santa’s Delivery Process

DENTON, Texas — How does Santa deliver all of those presents around the world in just a few hours? Dr. Wesley Randall, assistant professor of logisticsat the University of North Texas, explains how Santa handles the logistics — the science of moving goods from where they’re made to where they’re needed.

Santa Claus bikes across the campus of the University of North Texas.Santa Claus bikes across the campus of the University of North Texas.

Watch a video of Wes Randall explaining Santa’s delivery magic at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSPFjoAiUBU.

Q:How does Santa deliver presents to millions of children around the world in a short time?

A: “Santa has to deliver all these gifts on Christmas morning, and it gives him a little less than 27 hours if you consider the earth’s rotation,” Randall says. “That means Santa is faced with 58,000 square miles, which causes him to have to travel 2,300 miles an hour. That leaves about 12 minutes for Santa to deliver all those goods in the area of North Texas. That’s 2 million pounds of gifts, enough to fill 1,800 railroad cars.”

Q: Why is the Dallas-Fort Worth area an important region for Santa?

A: “Santa knows that DFW is the center of logistics for the United States. Actually, DFW is really almost the center of logistics for the globe,” Randall says. “There’s more than 600 motor carriers in the DFW area. Texas is home to more than seven freight lines. There’s eight interstates, there’s 300,000 miles of roadway, and then we have international air services provided through Dallas Fort Worth International, Alliance and Dallas Love Field.”

Q: How has UNT helped Santa this year?

A: “UNT’s experts in its Complex Logistics Systems research cluster have helped Santa figure out how to get all of those gifts to a network of secret distribution center around the world,” Randall says. “Santa and his reindeer fly into this distribution center. The sleigh is quickly loaded up, he flies back out, and in seconds, he has managed to resupply all of the different houses with gifts.”

Randall can be reached at wesley.randall@unt.edu.