On Monday, Dr. Gridlock saw a UPS claim that it planned to pick up 34 million packages worldwide that day. It sounded to Dr. Grid like a sneaky plot to undermine St. Nick. We invoked the words of one of our old editors, Francis Pharcellus Church. We worked for him at The Sun newspaper in New York city in 1897. He once told some kid named Virginia who lived over on West 95th Street:
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. … Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.”
We demanded an explanation from UPS about just what they were up to. This is their response. (Santa doesn’t do returns? Who knew?)
Not believe in UPS! 34 million packages might sound as ridiculous as a red-nosed reindeer. But what if we told you that UPS recently signed a contract with Santa Claus and the North Pole Gift Corp?
After years of doing business the old way, Santa needed to step up his game. A sleigh full of toys driven by reindeer, delivered down chimneys by a team of one? The inefficiencies in Santa’s supply chain were cause for consternation in Toy Land.
As the world has grown, Santa has enlisted a small army of “brown wish fulfillers” to help carry out his holiday bidding. Our brown uniforms might not be as flashy as elf suits, but they have the trusted brand recognition that ol’ Saint Nick requires.
Some of these gifts we deliver don’t even come from Santa’s workshop, but from far-off places like Shenzhen, Sao Paulo and Silver Spring. (Santa, by the way, is a huge supporter of growing free-trade lanes around the world, while reducing non-tariff barriers to business through customs modernization and trade facilitation measures.)
Santa trusts UPS because our systems enable the rapid, seamless movement of gifts anywhere a reindeer could fly. Santa might be an old man with a beard, but UPS offers him package flow technology and the logistics expertise and solutions he needs to remain relevant in a world of ever-increasing skepticism and disbelief.
Even after Santa’s big day, UPS has also signed a contract as Kris Kringle’s exclusive return service operator. Don’t like the size of those boots from Zappos? Want an iPad instead of three ties and six dress shirts? Think Brown.
All this and more is possible, but only if you believe. Santa is and always will be Christmas — but he’s got a helping hand in UPS.