Long time readers of this blog (that I haven’t chased off yet) will remember the exclusive story I filed from Santa’s North Pole logistics center a couple Christmases ago. It was great fun, but management of the world’s biggest one day logistics operation, up to and including Chief Logistics Officer Santa himself, weren’t happy with the story. While there was a certain cuteness and downright romance to Santa’s fleet of steam trains, old trucks, steamships, and even DC3s, they were vestiges of a past that Santa and the elves had to leave behind. The fact that we ended up doing a VW Golf load of deliveries for Santa on the way home foretold the limitations of Santa’s aging logistics network… Throw in global warming that threatened the very foundation of Santa’s logistics infrastructure, and it was clearly time to adapt and upgrade.

Plans for Santa’s new logistics network were already underway during our last visit, and now that they’re coming to fruition Santa and the elves wanted us to come back for another look. So we just got off a brand new high speed train running on brand new 4 track mainline across the for now permafrost. They tell me the tracks are good for at least 300 miles per hour, they’re just waiting for a locomotive fast enough to test them. It’ll be night here for a couple more months, but the northern lights and moon gave us a vision of a logistics complex of unprecedented scale. I’m just getting off at the brand new railroad station that dwarfs even the grandest of the grand old stations in size if not class, and on the way in we passed a miles long intermodal yard where even the biggest containers are delivered not by spotting tractors and piggy packers, but by conveyor belts! The actual lifts are made by mile long straddle cranes that can lift not just a container or two, but an entire train of containers at once. That’s just a hint of the scale of the place- Off in the distance I can see container ships in the harbor, and using the 40 foot containers as a measuring guage, they look to be of post- new Panamax size!

Gotta run, the elves from PR are assigning me a car and virtual maps for my tour…