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SHED vs. SLED for The World Famous Toy Distributer Mr. S Claus

The world famous toy distributer Mr. S Claus has announced the appointment of CBRE, the world’s largest property services and investment firm, to create a bespoke global supply chain solution following an incident involving Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer –  the lynchpin of his traditional global delivery system.


CBRE has previously worked with Santa, announcing the opening of a new office for him in Hong Kong in 2011 and creating another landmark real estate solution in 2012 to stable his reindeer. This time Santa’s Christmas preparations for 2013 were thrown into disarray after an unfortunate collision between reindeers Rudolph and Dasher meant Santa’s veterinary advisors have had to rule Rudolph out of strenuous exercise until early 2014.

The accident means a complete rethink of Santa’s traditional single ‘hub and spoke’ delivery strategy, where he uses a single distribution base and makes multiple returns to load up his sleigh with presents throughout Christmas Eve. CBRE has been assigned to create an alternative logistics system and, working with key suppliers including Toys R Us, ensure all toys are delivered on time to all of the well-behaved children of the world on 24 December 2013.

Amaury Gariel, Managing Director, EMEA Industrial and Logistics, CBRE, commented on the task at hand:

“Attempting to follow in the footsteps of the ‘King of Logistics’ Santa Claus is a big challenge; however, alongside our key 3PL partners, CBRE assists many international retailers in their quest for a smart global supply chain solution, and I am confident our SHED vs. SLED solution will ensure a timely delivery of presents to each well-behaved child this Christmas Eve”.

The SHED vs SLED system was created following an extensive research programme led by CBRE’s Global Head of Research Dr. Nick Axford. This will involve Santa sourcing his toys from several places around the world, shipping these goods to XXL warehouses (50,000 sq m +)at strategically-accessible points and after a detailed sorting process, which will match toy stocks versus children’s ‘letters to Santa’, the goods will be moved on to local parcel distribution centres and then delivered directly to children’s homes on Christmas Eve.

Dr. Axford commented: “According to the sleigh ‘trottometer’, Mr. Claus travels over 550,000 miles every Christmas Eve using his traditional hub and spoke delivery system and he will need 108 new XXL warehouses in strategic locations world-wide to successfully adopt a multi-hub approach. This will be mammoth task for CBRE’s logistics teams to find sites of sufficient scale and locational quality; however our research has shown that the structure of traditional supply chains is changing and the rapid growth of online retailing in particular has significantly boosted industry demand for XXL warehouses.”

Also involved in the landmark SHED vs SLED solution is Toys R Us, the world’s leading dedicated toy retailer, with the firm currently constructing a new XXL warehouse near Paris in France.

Philip Greenfield, International Logistics Director from Toy’s R Us commented:

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to assist Mr Claus with his requirements this Christmas and are determined to match his historically unblemished toy delivery record.

Creating a successful global supply chain is first of all about optimum location of distribution centres and secondly, it is about volumes, speed and accuracy of order handling”

Exclusive film footage has been released, with viewers being asked to support UNICEF’s life saving work at Christmas.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Operating Officer, UNICEF UK said: “Around the world there are millions of young people who have had little to celebrate this year. More than a million of them are child refugees from Syria who have no place to call home. Throughout the festive period and beyond, UNICEF will be doing all that it can to help these children, many of whom are living in cold and harsh conditions in refugee camps. I would like to thank CBRE for their generous support in aid of Syria’s children.”

Information in this article and accompanying video is fictional, but it shows the intricacies and challenges of global logistics with a little festive cheer. For every ‘like’ on YouTube, CBRE will make a donation to the UNICEF Children of Syria appeal. CBRE has committed a further €100,000 to the children of Syria appeal so far, and has been working with UNICEF since 2010 on its Climate Positive programme as part of a three year, €600,000, commitment to build cyclone-proof schools in Madagascar – one of the world’s poorest countries.

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