best logistics jobs in 2019

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where logistics jobs in canada are headed

E-commerce sales are growing rapidly. Though purchases made online are still dwarfed by the volume of in-store purchases, don't underestimate the impact our online-shopping habits are having on the logistics industry. Processing centres and warehouses that fulfill online orders are popping up at a rapid rate all across Canada. Last year, Amazon announced new fulfillment centres in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary, to name a few well-publicized examples. Though new fulfillment centres and the jobs that accompany them are rightly being hailed as good news for local economies, there's also the emerging threat of automation to consider. Will those jobs be here to stay? The logistics industry has long been at the epicentre of worries about automation taking over jobs. However, at the present time, automated machines have not reached a point where they're capable of replicating human movement and speed. So for now, logistics workers remain integral to the Canadian economy.


the best logistics jobs in 2019

Truck drivers top this year's list of best logistics jobs, taking over from warehouse worker last year. Though warehouse worker has slipped a few spots to number 4 on our list, it remains a key job in the sector. Rounding out the top 3 are forklift operator and cashier. Overall, 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for jobs in the logistics sector, as e-commerce sales continue to grow exponentially, creating intense demand for skilled logistics workers.

best jobs for 2019

  • 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

    Forklifts come in as the second most in demand job title in the logistics sector for 2019. 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. cashier

    Fun fact: cashier is the second most common job title in the world. Though there are a lot of cashiers employed in Canada, it comes in at number 3 on our list, because the demand for cashiers is beginning to wane as businesses look into alternatives like automated kiosks and self-checkouts. Becoming a cashier remains an easy entry-point into the logistics sector for now, but beware of the impact of automation on this field.

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  • 4. 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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  • 5. material handler

    Material handlers move and keep track of goods, typically in a warehouse setting. They may be responsible for pulling, tracking or labelling inventory, delivering supplies, or consolidating and organizing products. Basically, they keep inventory accessible and organized. Inventory control, data entry and lifting skills all make you well suited to a material handler role.

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  • 6. 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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  • 7. 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 adverse to physical work.

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  • 8. 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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logistics salaries in canada in 2019

The median annual salary in the logistics industry $38,550, up from $36,300 last year. The bottom 10% of earners make $29,000 or less, while the top 10% of earners will take home $46,200 or more. Last year saw significant minimum wage increases in various provinces, which could account for the strong wage growth in this sector year over year, as logistics tends to have a high percentage of minimum wage earners.

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the best logistics skills to have in 2019

The top logistics skill for 2019 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. Last year's number one skill, freight+ was bumped to number 2 in 2019, but it remains a key skill worth learning in this sector. 

top logistics skills

  • 1. forklifts

    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. Its 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 2019

Logistics tends to be a fairly entry-level sector that doesn't require much in the way of skills or experience. However there are some commonly sought-after certifications that employers look for. For 2019, most of the best 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 (TCG) 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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