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Silly Hats and Santa Stats: The Logistics of Christmas

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Capacity Leaders, Disney and Silly Hats

The last-minute orders are shipping and final deliveries being made, leaving only the logistics of getting your gifts wrapped (and perhaps hiding the sherry from Grandpa) to take care of.

Before you head back into the holiday madness, take five to put your feet up and enjoy some of these crazy logistic of Christmas statistics that bring out the best (and worst!) of the season:

  • Santa can't do it all himself, as we established earlier this month, but if that was the reality he'd travel almost 317 million miles on Christmas Eve. That means a speed of around 1,800 miles per second.
  • Even if retailers have jumped the shark with early holiday sales, there's still no more important period for the industry. Last year the season accounted for 19.2 percent of total annual sales, with registers ringing to the sound of more than $3 trillion in seasonal spending.
  • December 15th is traditionally the day on which delivery companies process the highest volumes. U.S.P.S. expected to process some 640 million items, from cards to periodicals and packages, while FedEx processes around 22.6 million packages. Ealier this month UPS predicted its seasonal surge would be a little later on December 18th, with some 17 million packages handled.
  • Unsurprisingly, the seasonal uptick in orders requires a similar surge in employment. Extra labor is always required to move more orders through the system and out for delivery, which for UPS means 95,000 temporary workers hired especially for the 2014 season. That's up 10,000 on last year.
  • As much as Mother's Day and Valentine's Day hog the holiday limelight for floral gifts, it's the Christmas and Chanukah celebrations that come out ahead on flower deliveries with some 30% of the annual order volume.
  • For the last-minute shoppers of the world, things are only getting better. Between digital deals and high competition for every online order, final deadlines are being pushed back every year. If you're reading this on the day we publish, for example, you can still place an order with Macy's and get it before Christmas, where as Toys R Us and the some of the biggest online retailers will take your order as late as December 23rd. Procrastinators of the world unite... tomorrow... perhaps.

Let us know your favorite seasonal stats, whether logistics-based or otherwise, here in the comments or over on Facebook.

Happy Holidays from the team at Capacity LLC!