Request for Recognition of the Logistics Industry as “in-demand” in Ontario’s Education Priorities

Forwarder Online April 09, 2024

Dear Minister, Honourable Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ontario.

CC: Honourable Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford
CC: Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport Canada

I am writing on behalf of CIFFA, a logistics association representing the interests of over 330+ regular member firms with tens of thousands of employees in the fields of freight forwarding, freight brokering, customs, drayage, and warehousing in Canada. Our association plays a crucial role in the logistics industry, which is a vital component of Canada’s economy. One of our core pillars is educating for the future.

Recently, the federal government and IRCC announced caps on international students for colleges and universities. In addition, the provincial government eliminated important one- and two-year programs in international / global business management as being eligible to teach these international students. CIFFA, and other associations like CITT, have spent years fostering relationships with these Colleges to ensure their educational offering is integrated into these programs, which are now being severely impacted. This decision will eliminate thousands of trained workers per year from the logistics talent pool in Canada.

The Canadian National Supply Chain Report notes that labour shortages in logistics is a critical priority. In December 2023, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, announced the establishment of the National Supply Chain Office to strengthen Canada’s supply chains, and increase economic competitiveness emphasizing our industries’ importance. Ontario’s own prospects for employment in multiple NOCS codes in logistics, freight forwarding, customs and supply chain are listed as “Good to very Good” over the next 3 years.

While we understand the government’s focus on “in-demand jobs” in fields like skilled trades, health, human resources, hospitality, child care, and STEM, we submit that the logistics industry should also be recognized as “in-demand.”

CIFFA partners with public and private colleges, where our industry-developed education is taught in 1 to 3- year international / global business programs. These comprehensive courses are specifically designed and validated to provide graduates with the skills needed to enter supply chain careers. By limiting international student programs in the logistics sector, the government risks hindering the development of a skilled workforce who are essential for the continued growth and success of the logistics sector.

During the pandemic, the logistics industry was praised for its life-saving work, highlighting its critical importance to Canada’s supply chain and economy. Logistics companies and their employees were identified as essential workers. We urge the government to reconsider its position on these international / global business programs in logistics and supply chain and designate them as “in-demand jobs”.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to a favorable response.



Stephen McDermott, Vice President Education CIFFA / TraversEd

® CIFFA is a Canadian logistics association representing the interests of its Freight, Customs and Warehousing regular members.

(Download PDF Copy)