ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Christmas is a little more than 2 weeks away, and that means local shipping stores are flooded with customers hoping to get presents to their loved ones.

Workers at The Postal Shoppe say the holiday surge came a little earlier this year, and expect volume to increase over the next few days.

Manager Tony Farthing says customers should expect to pay more than usual, as the COVID-19 pandemic worker shortage nationwide has raised prices and slowed deliveries across the country.

“Christmas Eve is on a Friday this year, and the carriers will still be delivering up until Christmas Eve. So we’ve got all of next week, and the beginning of the week after. But it’s going to get ugly. So, my advice would be to shop early, ship early, and we’ll all feel happier about it,” Farthing said.