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Overview of the Supply Chain Sector


The Supply Chain sector includes all the activities that take place to get a product to its intended market from the time of raw materials extraction to the minute the final product is delivered.

Companies involved in this process (vendors, service suppliers, producers, warehouses, distribution centres, transportation providers and retailers), are linked to each other through a ‘supply chain’. Supply Chain Management (SCM) focuses on planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, moving, storing, and keeping track of a product as it flows toward you and other consumers.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) includes these functions:

  • Purchasing/Procurement
  • Strategic Sourcing
  • Contract Management
  • Materials/Inventory Management
  • Logistics and Transportation and Distribution
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Exporting Finance

Supply chain labour force across Canada

There are supply chain functions and sub-functions in almost all sectors of the Canadian economy.

number of workers in supply chain sector in Canada; forecasted job vacancies every year; supply chain costs as percentage of sales

Source: How It’s Done – Why Canada’s Supply Chain Matters

Transportation and Warehousing Sector

In BC, the Transportation and Warehousing Sector had job growth of 4,800 jobs from 2018-2019. This sector had a total employment in of 140,600 jobs in 2019. Forecasted employment is 144,200 in 2024 and 151,100 in 2029.

Most of the employment in the Transportation and Warehousing industry is in the Mainland / Southwest region. The majority of the industry are unionized.  Across Canada the average hourly wage paid in the Transportation & Warehousing sector was $26.74 an hour for 2019.

Canada's transportation system  value in supply chain

Source: How It’s Done – Why Canada’s Supply Chain Matters

2019 Average Salaries of the Supply Chain Professional

British Columbia’s average supply chain professional salary rose from $89,063 in 2018 to $101,735 in 2019 — an increase of 14 per cent.
Supply chain professionals in the engineering/professional category had an average salary of $91,913. Supervisors reported that they earned $97,052 while analysts earned $82,460. The “operations/ tactical” category earned $81,613, while “clerical/administration” saw an average salary of $73,478. The average salary for “other” positions was $98,313.

annual salaries for supply chain professionals by province for 2019

Source: 2019 Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional

Women in the supply chain

Across Canada in 2014 there were approximately 820,364 workers in the supply chain labour force (excluding truck drivers).  A Gartner Group study of North American firms found that the representation of women in the total supply chain workforce was 39% in 2020. The survey found one of the main barriers to women being hired for senior supply chain roles at industrial firms was women being less likely to hold a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) degree.

  • in 2014, there were approximately 820,364 workers in the supply chain sector labour force within Canada (excluding truck drivers)
  • in March 2012, the number of vacant supply chain positions across Canada was 26,852
  • the anticipated number of new and vacant positions in Canada from 2012 – 2017 will be an additional 65,979 positions/year for a total of 356,747 positions over five years
  • from 2012 – 2017, it is expected that the rate of increase for supply chain employees will increase anywhere from 8.4% for tactical occupations, to 14.9% for managerial occupations

For more information

For information on programs to assist newcomers to Canada, see:

  • Immigrant Employment Council of BC – Mentor Connect Program brings together skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships; provides up to 12 hours of mentoring over a two-month period. Mentors also introduce mentees to two or more professionals within their professional networks for the purpose of information interviews.

Occupations in the Supply Chain Sector

 BC’s supply chain sector is made up of numerous occupations.

The ten key supply chain occupations are:

  1. Senior Managers – Goods Production, Utilities, Transportation and Construction
  2. Purchasing Managers
  3. Computer and Information Systems Managers
  4. Transportation Managers
  5. Facility Operation and Maintenance Managers
  6. Supervisors, Recording, Distributing and Scheduling Occupations
  7. Purchasing Agents and Officers
  8. Customs, Ship and Other Brokers
  9. Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
  10. Truck Drivers

Source: The Accelerator Project: A Call To Action

Supply Chain Industry in BC – Job Outlook for Occupations in Demand

Occupation Number of Job Openings
Transportation Managers (NOC 0731)  2,690
Purchasing Managers (NOC 0113) 1,380
Purchasing Agents & Officers (NOC 1225) 2,130
Supervisors of supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations (NOC 1215) 2,420

Source: WorkBC Career Profiles

Skills Required in Key Supply Chain Occupations

Adapting to the times, thinking outside the box and embracing new technologies and ideas are characteristics supply chain professionals need to be successful.  Additional skills include:

  • Financial planning & cost analysis
  • Forecasting
  • Knowledge of international business practices
  • Knowledge of laws and regulations
  • Knowledge of logistics functions, transportation and the supply chain
  • Optimization of workflow

New employment opportunities are also emerging in the supply chain industry.  These include a wide range of occupations such as:

Supply Chain

  • Supply Chain Business/Financial Analyst
  • Supply Chain Planning /Operations Manager

Procurement & Sourcing

  • Buyer/Clerk
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Purchasing Assistant/Clerk/Analyst
  • Retail / Wholesale Buyer
  • Purchasing Agent/Analyst/Coordinator/Officer/Manager
  • Contract Administrator
  • Inventory Control Coordinator/Manager
  • Global Sourcing Analyst/Specialist/Coordinator

Transportation & Logistics

  • Customs Broker
  • Logistics Clerk/Assistant
  • Warehouse Clerk/Assistant
  • Shipper & Receiver
  • Dispatcher / Dispatch Supervisor/Coordinator
  • Land Transport Coordinator
  • Transportation Route Schedulers
  • Freight Auditor
  • 3PL (third party logistics) Specialist
  • Logistics Analyst/Coordinator/Specialist/Manager

Operations, Warehousing & Distribution

  • Production Administrator/Expeditor/Planner
  • Material/Inventory Control Administrator/Coordinator
  • Warehouse Inventory Coordinator/Auditor
  • Material Handler or Manager
  • Production Analyst/Administrator/Coordinator/Specialist
  • Stores/Warehouse/Distribution Supervisor
  • Warehouse Operations Manager

Sources:Career Profiles, Careers in the Supply ChainIndustry Profile: Supply Chain (University of Toronto Mississauga UTM),Supply Chain Canada: Connector – Skills-Matching Tool for the Supply Chain Industry

For more information, see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

The majority of jobs in the supply chain industry are found in Metro Vancouver / Lower Mainland, Victoria/Vancouver Island and Thompson-Okanagan  (Southern Interior).

The location of jobs in both the Purchasing Sector and the Transportation & Warehousing Sector average 72% in the Lower Mainland, 10% in Vancouver Island, and 8% in Thompson-Okanagan region.

Transportation & Warehousing Industry Sector - Location of Work

Source: Work BC Industry Profile: Transportation and Warehousing

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the supply chain sector in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: