Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Santa Supply Chain Efficiency

A chart of "Gift delivery time per child (microseconds)" as a function of year. The curve starts off high at 400 in 1950, decreases to around 200 over 50 years, and then slowly starts decreasing again. The label on the curve reads, "Santa knows how to keep improving".

In the last few years, many of us have come to appreciate the supply chain infrastructure that undergirds much of our world. We notice when it breaks, but not when it gets better. May Santa’s supply chain efficiency gains over time be a shining example of progress during your holidays!

Methodological details: I assumed 34 hours of delivery time (which is roughly in the ballpark from moving between time zones and having a long night), roughly 1/3 of the population being Christian, and children being 0-14 years old. I then took 34 hours and divided by one third of the children population for my estimate over time. You can change the 34 hours figure, but the shape of the curve will stay the same.