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Christmas Shipping Surge Snarls UPS And FedEx Deliveries

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(/file - credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(/file – credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Santa’s biggest helpers are saying sorry.

Shipping problems have snarled UPS and FedEx. The problems are being blamed on overloaded systems and weather troubles in some parts of the country.

The holiday shopping period this year was shorter than usual, more buying was done online and Americans’ tendency to wait until the last possible second to shop probably didn’t help either.

While the bulk of consumer holiday spending remains at physical stores, shopping online is increasingly popular. Online spending in the U.S. from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 rose 9 percent from the same period last year to $37.8 billion, according to research firm comScore. The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail group, has predicted that overall sales, both in stores and online, will rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion this holiday shopping season.

United Parcel Service says many of the packages it hoped to deliver before Christmas are delayed.

“UPS is experiencing heavy holiday volume and making every effort to get packages to their destination; however, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network immediately preceding Christmas so some shipments were delayed. UPS is not making pickups or deliveries on Christmas Day and will resume normally scheduled service on December 26,” the company said in a statement on its website.

The company said customers can track their individual packages by clicking here.

Some FedEx customers are able to pick up packages Christmas Day at their local FedEx Express centers.

“We’re sorry that there could be delays and we’re contacting affected customers who have shipments available for pickup,” said Scott Fiedler, a spokesman for FedEx Corp.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FedEx handled 275 million shipments, according to Fiedler. Those that were not delivered in time, he said, “would be very few.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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