The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is advising Ontarians to start their holiday alcohol shopping early as ongoing global supply chain issues may cause shelves to be emptier than usual this year.

Shortages of certain alcohols and aluminum are just a few fallouts of a long line of supply chain issues across the country.

According to the LCBO, transportation issues, an imbalance of equipment, congestion in ports and blank sailings are resulting in an average three-week shipping delay, with some locations experiencing up to a six-week delay.

This accounts for approximately a third of LCBO’s stock shortages, they say. The remaining shortages have been prompted by suppliers’  inability to keep up with continued changes in consumer demand amid the pandemic.

“We encourage customers to shop early this year for the best selection of gifts and holiday favourites, be flexible about choice, and take the opportunity to try something new if a particular brand or product favourite is not available,” an LCBO spokesperson said in a statement to CTV News Toronto on Friday.

The LCBO has identified certain products that have been impacted more significantly by global supply shortages and shipping delays, including “some champagnes and sparkling sets, new world wines (New Zealand, Australia, South America), import spirits (particularly tequila and scotch), and international beer/cider.”

The retailer has provided some key dates and deadlines for home delivery, delivery to local stores and same-day pickups.

If you would like products delivered to your home, the LCBO is asking that customers place their orders online by Dec. 15 for delivery by or before Christmas Eve. For delivery to a local branch, they are asking customers to place their orders online by Dec. 12 for pickup by Dec. 24. For same-day pickup, orders must be placed at least three hours before closing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

“We appreciate our customers’ continued patience as we navigate global supply issues facing the international beverage alcohol industry,” the company said. 

The LCBO said they're expecting some of the shortages to last into the new year and that they "appreciate [customer's] continued understanding."