Case Study: Santa's Shipping Rules

We are proud to reveal that Santa Claus and his elves use Shipster to help pack and ship their huge volume of Christmas presents! This Christmas is gearing up to be one of Santa’s busiest ever, having already received over 1 billion letters from children across the world! He has very kindly allowed us to share his rules set up as an example of how to efficiently manage an increased demand over the Christmas period.

christmas delivery dates calendar    parcel splitting    christmas night

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Santa has multiple rules in place to make sure every present arrives on time even if the letter arrives last minute. All UK orders processed on Christmas Eve are automatically sent on a next day service. This rule changes for every destination country depending on when they celebrate Christmas. For example, all orders going to Germany will be sent on a service that will ensure they’re delivered on the 23rd December instead. Santa integrates with multiple couriers worldwide to ensure the best express service is used for each country.

Naughty vs Nice List

Although usually most children are on the nice list there are some who have been too badly behaved for presents. Santa has a rule that blocks these ‘naughty’ children’s post codes and triggers a pop up telling the elves to pack a lump of coal instead. The extra good children have ‘NICE’ in an attribute field. When this is present, Santa’s Shipster automatically prints a personalised thank you note.

Location Matters

Whether you like your presents placed under the tree, in a stocking or in your bedroom Santa will know your preference. Shipster prints all his delivery instructions onto each parcel’s label in big text. Clear delivery instructions also help Santa know how to access buildings without chimneys, perfect for catering to inner-city, flat-dwelling families.

shipping locations    custom letter    adorable snowman



Before the invention of modern technology, Santa jingled sleighbells to alert parents that he was close. These days parents rarely hear sleighbells over the sound of the TV or through their earphones. Santa has modernised and mapped his Shipster to use services with SMS and email tracking notifications. This allows parents to accurately predict when Santa will arrive and put the children to bed with plenty of time to spare.

A Personalised Touch on a Mass Scale

Through Shipster, Santa’s warehouse prints custom documents to be included with presents. This includes Christmas cards, thank you notes for carrots and cookies and warranties all personalised with information extracted from order files. He also used this feature to print warnings for presents that require extra care taken during delivery such as puppies and remote control helicopters.

Santa’s on the Good List too

Because Santa believes in paying your import tax properly, he has set his Shipster up to print accurate customs documentation. This is especially important due to the majority of his deliveries being international (children in the North Pole tend to use click and collect).

paying taxes        christmas parcel delivery van

Too Many Presents

Reindeers can only pull so much weight and parcels of a certain size may not fit down chimneys. Santa uses a variety of rules to combat this. For very lucky children who have too many presents, the order is automatically split to be packed into multiple parcels. For bulky items such as trampolines, Shipster prints a custom letter telling parents how they can pick up the item either from the North Pole warehouse or from Santa’s partnered company, Argos.

Bad Spellers Welcome

Children and adults alike often make formatting or spelling mistakes when writing their address. To ensure all the presents go to the right home, Santa has rules that correct common address problems and formatting irregularities. For orders where the address is especially unclear, a pop up is triggered that allows manual input from the elves who are training in interpreting crayon.

Perhaps you can take some inspiration from this most magical time of year configuration :D

merry christmas from everyone at Shipster