Holiday warning: online shoppers face tighter shipping deadlines

(NBC News) If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, experts say you’re already running late.

“There are going to be inventory issues, so the sooner you purchase your products that you need for the holiday season, the faster they’re going to get to your door,” says’s Sara Skirboll.

If you wait too long it’s very possible you’ll encounter a couple of issues.

“It’s going to be an unprecedented season,” warns Federal Express senior vice president Jenny Robertson.  “We are preparing for it, but it does not hurt to go ahead and get those packages shipped as soon as you can.”

75 percent of shoppers are already spending, and the influx of online shopping has put pressure on shippers.

FedEx is dubbing the holiday season “Shipathon,” saying the company will be up 22 percent.

“It’s something that the industry hasn’t seen before, numbers like this, and so that’s why we are just encouraging everyone if you’re shopping take advantage of the sales that are going on now and get those packages in the network as soon as possible,” Robertson says.

UPS has hired more than 100,000 seasonal employees, and DHL says the company has been at peak levels since June.

Stores pushing shoppers to buy early are expanding services like curbside pickup to minimize the need for delivery.

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