How many Santa Clauses would it actually take for every child to receive a present on Christmas Eve?

Santa Clauses

How many Santa Clauses would it actually take for every child to receive a present on Christmas Eve?

We did the math

(PresseBox) ( Heikendorf , )
Holy tour planning! How many Santa Clauses (made of flesh and blood) should there actually be so that every child in Germany can receive presents on Christmas Eve? We did the math.

Let's assume that Santa Claus is not a supernatural being. And let's assume that every child in Germany (regardless of their faith) should receive a present on Christmas Eve. Then the question is: How can this be done logistically? How many human santas would there have to be?


According to the German Youth Protection Act, a person under the age of 14 is considered a child. According to Statista , there were around in 2020 10.74 million children under the age of 14 in Germany . More exciting, however, is the question: How many households do you live in? So how many destinations do our Christmas messengers have to go to?

In our country there are around 8.2 million family households with children under the age of 18 ( Federal Agency for Civic Education ). If we roughly break that down to children under the age of 14, we get around 6.3 million households . Next we need to find out how many households Santa Claus can manage in what time frame.

One more remark. As for the gifts, let's make it easy for ourselves and say: It should be a little fabric cheetah. This is not a bulky item and does not require a heavy transport even if there are more than two copies. This saves us from considering more complex logistical challenges such as vehicle restrictions.


Our hardworking Santa Clauses also work on Christmas Eve 8 hours so that every child receives a present. They deliver with a standard van like the one known from the parcel services. (The reindeer can relax.) And the start and end of their shift, the parcel centers and gift depots, are also well distributed across the country: every Santa Claus reaches their first household within 15 minutes of starting work. In addition, he is back no later than half an hour after the last delivery.

With 8 hours of working time minus the first 15 minutes and half an hour for the return to the depot, a "net delivery time" of 7 hours and 15 minutes (= 435 minutes) remains.

It is estimated that Santa needs around 5 minutes from household to household (- no Christmas singing with the families, no snacking on cookies, just the parcel delivery and driving straight away). 435 minutes delivery time with 5 minutes per household means: Santa Claus manages around on Christmas Eve 87 households . For 6.3 million households with children the result is:

72,414 Santa Clauses .


So now we know that our Santa Claus fleet roughly corresponds to the population of Landshut, Lüdenscheid or Brandenburg an der Havel. Well, but what if some of them fail, for example because the (last) mulled wine from the previous evening was bad? Or if your car suddenly goes on strike in the middle of the tour? Then the gift disposition has to reschedule quickly and rearrange the Santa Claus tours.


Our algorithm helps in such cases. It adjusts the tours in real time and ensures that field service organizations react heavenly well even in the event of failures, emergencies and ad-hoc orders. With our PowerOpt algorithm, for example, Rewe Digital, sky, Vonovia and Jungheinrich plan and optimize their appointments and tours in the field.

On the following page you can try out the algorithm yourself and see how it calculates the best assignment of orders to your employees and determines the cost-optimal routes: PowerOpt - tour planning in real time .

So if the real Santa is not working for you and you need to plan more than 20 field service resources, our solutions are worth considering. Whether in trade, technical service, testing or sales: Our unique algorithm always gives you the best possible appointment and route planning. Not just on Christmas Eve, but every day.

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