The holiday season is one of our busiest times of the year at Amazon. Whether it’s gifts on everybody’s wish list, last-minute wrapping supplies, or just everyday household items, we’re delighted to deliver to customers all over the world—including North Pole, Alaska.
And sometimes, even Santa needs help getting through the holidays.
We made a special delivery to North Pole’s most famous residents: Santa and Mrs. Claus. Watch how we deliver to North Pole and follow the journey of a package:
1. Santa places an order
After a customer hits the “place your order” button, employees at our fulfillment centers start picking and packing the order. From there, all packages destined for North Pole get routed to an Amazon Air gateway in Portland, Oregon, and make the four-hour flight to Fairbanks, Alaska.
2. Arrival at our Amazon Air gateway in Fairbanks, Alaska
All North Pole deliveries arrive at our Amazon Air gateway in Fairbanks. North Pole is a small town outside Fairbanks that’s home to nearly 3,000 people and known for its year-round Christmas decorations, including street lights that resemble candy canes and roads with names like Mistletoe Lane and Kris Kringle Drive.
Packages arrive once a day, six days a week—in all types of weather, even snow and below-zero temperatures. Orders arrive via a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which carries packages in 12 Unit Load Device (ULD) containers. The entire aircraft can carry more than 4,500 cubic feet of freight, which amounts to around 7,000 packages on every flight—adding up to millions of packages a year.
3. Packages get sorted by ZIP code
Once the aircraft lands, third-party logistics partners offload the ULDs onto dollies and packages from the belly compartments onto carts. Everything is taken to a logistics warehouse, where it’s unloaded onto conveyors and sorted by ZIP code. This process takes just a few hours and involves a team of employees who unload the packages, drive the dollies, sort the packages, and ensure the safety of the operation and all team members.
4. Out for customer delivery!
Once packages are sorted, they’re loaded into box trucks based on their destinations and routed for final delivery via our third-party partners. Our Amazon Air facility in Fairbanks services all of central and northern Alaska, including Prudhoe Bay—the northernmost location we deliver to in the U.S.—and the Santa Claus House, located in North Pole.
Thank you to all of the fantastic employees and partners across our operations network for delivering for our customers—even Santa—throughout the year and especially during the busy holiday season.
Now that it’s darker earlier, you can help keep delivery drivers safe by turning your outdoor lights on sooner, salting your driveway, and keeping your dogs inside.
Learn more about Amazon's most unique delivery locations around the world.