The Role of Vancouver's Warehousing Industry in Local Employment

by Michael Kotendzhi | Logistics
The Role of Vancouver's Warehousing Industry in Local Employment

Vancouver’s warehousing industry is vital to both the local economy and the provincial employment force.

With the city being located strategically on the Pacific coast, Vancouver serves as a critical gateway for goods arriving from across the globe, and the city has heavily invested in infrastructure such as its ports, local warehouses, and national railways.

Vancouver’s warehouses support a variety of sectors, including retail, manufacturing, and e-commerce, and this robust industry creates diverse job opportunities ranging from entry-level roles like forklift operators and order pickers to specialized positions such as warehouse managers and data analysts.

Plus, the rise of fulfillment centers and 3PL transportation services linked to the booming online retail market has further bolstered job opportunities in the city.

Job Creation within the Warehousing Industry

Job creation within the warehousing industry is pivotal for the Canadian economy, as it creates numerous jobs meeting all types of experience and pay grades.

For entry-level roles such as order pickers, the industry can serve as a stepping stone, providing valuable on-the-job training that can lead to more advanced positions.

On the other end of the spectrum, the warehouse industry also creates specialized positions, such as warehouse managers and supply chain coordinators, to ensure every aspect of storage, sorting, and distribution runs smoothly, minimizing delays and costs.

Beyond managerial positions, the warehouse industry also requires data analysts and automation specialists due to technological advancements in warehousing operations.

The variety of job roles created by Vancouver's warehousing industry makes it an inclusive employment sector that accommodates both seasoned professionals and newcomers.

Fulfillment and Transportation Jobs

The warehousing industry often provides additional value-added services such as transportation and fulfillment to support its business partners.

In a city like Vancouver, with its booming online retail market, fulfillment center jobs are highly in demand, as these centers consistently need order pickers, quality control inspectors, and inventory receivers.

Transportation also plays an integral role in supporting warehousing operations by connecting stored goods with their final destinations efficiently. More goods stored in warehouses inevitably leads to a rise in demand for truck drivers, who can deliver products punctually and help maintain supply flow across regions seamlessly.

Fulfillment and transportation operations are often managed by logistics coordinators who plan routes meticulously so drivers can adhere strictly to schedules without unnecessary delays.

Statistical Impact of Warehousing Jobs in Vancouver

As you can likely tell from the examples listed above, the warehousing industry significantly influences employment in Vancouver, playing an indispensable role in job creation and economic stability.

According to a 2021 report by the Government of Canada Job Bank, the logistics sector, which includes warehousing and transportation, directly employs over 139,200 workers in British Columbia. This figure represents approximately 5.2% of the province's total workforce.

Furthermore, the e-commerce boom has amplified demand for fulfillment centers within the region. Statistics Canada data from 2020 shows that online shopping sales surged by nearly 99% during the pandemic, driving a corresponding increase in warehousing, fulfillment, and transportation jobs required to manage this spike effectively.

As e-commerce trends continue their upward trajectory, the warehousing sector remains a key player in providing stable and diverse employment opportunities across the region. And because of the industry’s diverse range of jobs—from warehouse managers and inventory control specialists to forklift operators and logistics coordinators—there will always be opportunities for all workers.

For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. 

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.

Michael Kotendzhi is President of Operations & Transportation and a partner at 18 Wheels. Michael has over 15 years of experience and is equipped with a degree in Logistics from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. As well as a background in logistics from XPO Logistics (formally Kelron Logistics), North America's largest contract warehousing provider.

Michael's experience includes supply chain management, reverse logistics, & domestic transportation. He has developed 18 Wheels' trucking solutions, effectively utilizing the sister company's vehicle fleet and building a transportation supply-chain network across North America.