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Overview of the Transportation Industry


Businesses in the Transportation and Warehousing industry are involved mainly in transporting passengers and goods by road, rail, water, pipelines or air and in warehousing and storing goods.  The industry includes railway operators, passenger ferries and airlines; pipeline operators; city and charter busses; shipping and trucking companies; and couriers and post offices. Sub-industries include:

  • Air transportation
  • Postal service, couriers and messengers
  • Rail transportation
  • Transit, sightseeing, and pipeline transportation
  • Truck transportation
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Water transportation

BC’s Transportation & Warehousing Industry

For the period 2018-2019, employment in BC’s transportation & warehousing industry grew at 3.5% with job growth of 4800 for a total of 140,600 employed in B.C.

forecasted employment; 2019 2024 2029 in BC Transportation & Warehousing Industry

Detailed industry outlook; BC; 2019 - 2029 Transportation & Warehousing

BC employment job openings; 2019 - 2029; transportation & warehousing industry

Across Canada, in 2019, 972,600 employees (including self-employed people) worked in the transportation and warehousing sector, up 5.7% from 2018. Employment in the transportation and warehousing sector accounts for about 5% of total employment, a share that has stayed stable over the past two decades.

The Transportation and Warehousing industry in Canada is expected to expand its workforce at a faster than average pace over the next ten years up to 2029. The industry is projected to have 50,100 job openings over the 2019- 2029 period. Over 72 percent of those job openings are a result of the need to replace workers leaving the labour force.

Trucking & Logistics Industry

Across Canada, the Trucking & Logistics industry includes 300,000 truck drivers (46% of the industry workforce), 90,000 people in shipping and receiving, 70,000 courier service drivers, 38,000 material handlers at warehouses and distribution centers, and: an estimated 40,000 managers, supervisors, and administrative staff, along with 9,000 accounting personnel.

Based on the current economic and demographic projections, overall labour demand for occupations in the trucking and logistics sector is forecast to increase at an average annual pace of 0.9% over the next three to five years (to 2023).

Truck Drivers Employment Vacancies in Canada

The total number of truck driver vacancies in Canada has increased over 138% between 2016 and 2019 – climbing from 8,600 to 20,500 – an average job vacancy rate of 6.8%.

During the period 2019-2023 27,000 truck drivers will leave the occupation voluntarily or involuntarily on an annual basis and an additional 7,200 truck drivers will retire. By 2023, we expect truck driver vacancies will have surpassed 25,000 unfilled positions, an increase of over 25% compared with 2019.  Demographic projections suggest that the growth of younger workers, particularly those with less than high school or high school education alone, will not be sufficient to offset the anticipated exits stemming from retirement* and other attrition.

*According to the Statistic Canada’s 2016 Census, 32% of truck drivers in Canada were 55 years or older, compared to 21% of the entire Canadian labour force.

Potential sources of new drivers into the occupation include new entries into the occupation (recently having left formal education), entries from other occupations, recent immigrants, and non-permanent residents (either temporary foreign workers or those here on working visas).

Source: The Road Ahead: Addressing Canada’s Trucking and Logistics Industry Labour Shortages March 2020 Trucking

Immigrants Entry to Transportation Industry

Immigrants are seen as a key source of talent as transportation companies seek to meet their hiring needs in the years ahead.

The industry has responded by developing a number of programs to attract newcomers. These include:

  • initiatives to attract newcomers to remote locations of the province
  • corporate efforts to encourage diversity in the workplace
  • strategies for streamlining foreign-credential recognition

One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program, which helps you overcome barriers to entering the trades, including jobs in transportation. This program can provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.

More information:

The BC Trucking Association(BCTA) has developed a tool to assist employers when hiring newcomers to Canada. This guide helps employers compare your professional driving experience in your home country to Canadian driving standards.

More information:

For more information on the transportation sector see:

Occupations in the Transportation Sector

The transportation industry is made up of numerous occupations, each with its own unique set of experience and training requirements. It includes the following sectors:

  • Air transportation
  • Postal service, couriers and messengers
  • Rail transportation
  • Support activities for transportation
  • Transit, sightseeing, and pipeline transportation
  • Truck transportation
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Water transportation

Occupations include:

  • Truck Driver
  • Public Passenger transit driver (Bus Driver, Skytrain/Subway worker, or Transit Supervisor
  • Taxi & limousine drivers
  • Distribution/Warehouse Managers
  • Material Movers such as Package Handlers or Fork Lift Operators

For a detailed list of occupations, number of job openings and hourly wage rates, see:


Average hourly wages in this industry: 2014: 2019: Men, Women, Youth

Trucking & Logistics Industry in Canada

Across Canada, in the trucking industry, there were some 15,995 vacant truck driver positions in the last quarter of 2020, with a vacancy rate of 5%.  In comparison, the vacancy rate across all occupations in Canada was 2.7%.

projected vacancies in trucking & logistics across all provinces: 2019 - 2023: truck drivers & all other occupations

vacancies across all provinces for other key trucking & logistics occupations for 2018 & 2023

Source: Labour Market Snapshot, Trucking, June 2021
For detailed information on any of the occupations in the transportation sector see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

Most of the employment in the Transportation and Warehousing industry is in the Mainland / Southwest region:

BC transportation & warehousing employment and job openings by region for 2019 to 2029


Employment by Region:

BC regions percent employment for transportation and warehousing industry

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the transportation industry 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: