the best logistics jobs in 2020.

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where logistics jobs in canada are headed

Though purchases made online remain a fraction of traditional retail sales, online shopping continues to grow exponentially and that trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2020. The logistics industry is growing alongside our tendency to shop online. Processing centres, warehouses and fulfillment centres are popping up all over the country and getting bigger and more technologically advanced. Logistics workers' responsibilities are becoming more complicated as they must learn to work alongside automated machinery intended to streamline their work and increase efficiency. Though we've heard a lot of concerns that logistics jobs are ripe to be taken over by automation, that's not a trend we're seeing quite yet. Logistics workers are just as in demand as ever, however their roles have shifted and they must be able to work alongside automated machinery to maximize their output.


the best logistics jobs in 2020

Truck driver and forklift operator hold onto the first and second spots on the list of best logistics jobs in 2020. Shipper-receiver climbs up from 6th in 2019 to round out the top 3 for 2020. Overall, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for jobs in the logistics sector, as e-commerce sales grow exponentially, creating intense demand for skilled logistics workers.

best jobs for 2020

  • 1. truck driver

    Truck driver comes in at number one as the most popular job title in the logistics sector. Various types of truck drivers are needed including long-haul drivers, delivery drivers and others. It goes without saying a driver's license is the bare minimum needed for this job, however depending on the type of truck you're driving a specialized truck driving license may be needed. (In Ontario that's a D class license, in Quebec it's class 5, though the title will vary by province.)

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  • 2. forklift operator

    Forklift operator is the second most in demand job title in the logistics sector for 2020. If you know how to operate any kind of forklift, you're pretty much a shoo-in for a job in the logistics sector. The most popular forklifts include counterbalance, reach, and cherry picker. if you have a forklift driving certification, even better.

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  • 3. shipper/receiver

    Shipper/receivers keep goods moving in a timely fashion. They typically work in warehouses, retail, or a setting where goods are produced. Shipper/receivers' main role is to process and inventory incoming and outgoing merchandise. If you can operate a forklift, you can often make a premium in this role. Freight+ or experience with inventory management software are also a plus.

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  • 4. picker/packer

    Picker/packers are responsible for making sure orders reach the end customer safely. They collect items, preparing them for shipment. With the growing volume of online purchases, picker/packers have become one of the most in demand logistics roles in Canada. Experience using wireless barcode scanners and inventory systems will make you stand out in this role. 

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  • 5. general labourer

    General labourers fill the gaps in the logistics sector, providing support wherever it's needed. There's no one set job description, however some tasks general labourers may perform include assisting specialized workers, cleaning, assembling, or moving products. No experience or skill is required, so a general labourer job can be a good place to start if you're brand new to the workforce and not averse to physical work.

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  • 6. warehouse worker

    With the proliferation of online shopping, is it any wonder to see warehouse worker on the list of best jobs in the logistics sector? Though automation may be a factor in the warehouse sector at some point, we haven't yet reached a point where robots are capable of the complex range of motion humans are. So for now, warehouse workers are desperately needed to help fulfill all those online orders and keep goods moving!

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  • 7. logistics coordinator

    Logistics coordinator is a new entry on the list of best logistics jobs for 2020. As the number of workers in the logistics sector grows steadily to account for the rise of e-commerce, it makes sense that the logistics industry needs more coordinators who can keep things moving smoothly.

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  • 8. buyer

    Buyers are a part of the supply chain team in the logistics sector. They play a key role in managing and selecting inventory, ensuring that their employer has the right type and quantity of items in stock to meet customer demand. With online shopping becoming a huge part of our day-to-day lives, buyers ensure that the items we need are in stock and reach us swiftly.

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logistics salaries in canada in 2020

The median annual salary in the logistics industry is $38,550, the same as last year. The bottom 10% of earners make $29,450 or less, while the top 10% of earners will take home $47,700 or more. Both of these numbers are up slightly. The past year saw minimum wage increases in various provinces, which could account for some of the wage growth in this sector, as logistics tends to have a high percentage of minimum wage earners.

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the best logistics skills to have in 2020

The top logistics skill for 2020 is the ability to operate a forklift. This applies to all kinds of forklifts including counterbalance, reach, cherry pickers and walkie forklifts. If you're looking to land a job in the logistics sector, securing a driving certification is all but a sure ticket to steady employment. Freight+ and bills of lading also remain in steady demand and round out the top 3.

top logistics skills

  • 1. forklifts (counter balance, reach, cherry picker or walkie)

    Topping the list of most in demand logistics skills is the ability to operate a forklift. The most commonly used forklifts include counterbalance, reach, cherry picker or walkie forklifts. Experience with any of these, or even better, a workplace certification proving your skills will make you an in demand candidate in the logistics sector.

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  • 2. freight+

    Freight+ is a popular shipping software used in the logistics industry. It's used to print shipping labels, bills of lading, packing slips and allow rate shopping among popular shipping companies such as Canada Post,  UPS and FedEx.  If you know how to operate Freight+ terminals you'll be a standout candidate for organizations that do high-volume shipping.

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  • 3. bills of lading

    The bill of lading (sometimes abbreviated to BoL) is a detailed list of the items contained in a shipment. It's similar to a packing slip, but most often used for large shipments of goods. Bills of lading are critical to international trade. Experience issuing bills of lading or working with software such as Freight+ that do so is a great skill to have in the logistics sector.

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  • 4. preventative maintenance

    Keeping your equipment in top shape makes your job easier and reduces costs accrued by broken equipment down the line. Knowledge of basic repairs and how to clean your equipment to keep it in good shape will always be in demand in the logistics sector.

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  • 5. material handling

    Material handling is a job in and of itself. However it's also an important skill for anyone who works in the logistics sector to know. Even if the bulk of your day-to-day work doesn't involve moving goods, knowing how to do so safely and effectively can only make you a better employee.

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  • 6. pallet jacks

    Knowing how to safely and effectively move goods on a pallet jack (also called a pump truck or pallet truck) is a staple skill for working in a warehouse or other related logistics job. Pallet jacks are the little brother to forklifts, and easier to use. That said, knowing how to do so safely is paramount.

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  • 7. light packaging

    Experience securely packing items for shipment is a skill employers look for in the logistics sector. Delicate items such as electronics or food products must be securely wrapped and packed to prevent damage during the shipping process. Experience with order picking also pairs well with this skill.

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best certifications in logistics for 2020

Logistics tends to be a fairly entry-level sector with few barriers to entry. However there are some commonly sought-after certifications that can give your candidacy a little extra boost. For 2020, the most in demand certifications relate to your ability to drive industrial vehicles or follow health and safety guidelines.

logistics certifications

  • 1. transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) certification

    The transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) program is a federally licensed program offered by Transport Canada. It's a comprehensive set of safety standards and regulations for transporting dangerous materials (such as explosives, flammable liquids, radioactive materials and other goods that pose a risk to the public) within Canada. This certification is required by law, so it's in high demand among employers.

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  • 2. commercial driver's license

    A commercial driver's license allows you to drive heavy commercial vehicles (weighing more than 11,000 kilos) such as trucks. Driving licenses are regulated by provincial governments in Canada, so the exact classification name may vary depending on where you live in Canada. For example, in Ontario a commercial license is known as a Class D, whereas in Quebec it's known as Class 5. With truck drivers taking the top spot on this year's best logistics job, it makes sense commercial licenses are also in demand. 

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  • 3. material handling equipment (MHE) certification

    Material handling equipment (MHE) is an umbrella term used to describe mechanical equipment used to move, store or protect materials, goods and products. Some examples include forklifts, shelf pickers, pallet jacks, tractors and other industrial equipment used in warehouses or manufacturing plants. A MHE certification showcases your experience using heavy equipment safely.

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  • 4. workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS)

    WHMIS is Canada's national standard for classifying, labelling and communicating workplace hazards. WHMIS is a cornerstone of health and safety policy in Canada, and certification proves to employers you understand proper labelling and communication of hazards in the workplace.  

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  • 5. forklift certification

    In most provinces forklift certifications are offered by a variety of private companies, however they must meet federal guidelines. Though many employers offer forklift training and a path to certification to employees, if you're looking for work in the logistics sector, already having your forklift certification will be a major draw for potential employers.

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