Assessing the inequalities in access to online delivery services

A 2021 paper discusses the importance of incorporating online home delivery services (OHDS) into accessibility and marginalization. The authors propose a method to quantify access to OHDS and assess levels of inequalities in access to OHDS using data from OHDS providers in the pharmaceutical and food sectors and transport operators delivering parcels.

The Västra Götaland Region on the West coast of Sweden is used as a case study. The results show significant inequalities in access to OHDS. Moreover, there are segments of the population under a compound marginalization during the COVID-19 pandemic due to (i) limited accessibility to OHDS services, (ii) high incidence of COVID-19 cases in their area that makes physical visits to a store a risk activity, and (iii) high vulnerability (e.g., a high share of individuals older than 65).

These results reveal a need for the public sector to prioritize innovations in services that target specific vulnerable and marginalized clusters but also show the imminent risk for some of these segments during the pandemic.

Source: Sanchez-Diaz, I., Altuntas Vural, C., & Halldórsson, Á. (2021). Assessing the inequalities in access to online delivery services and the way COVID-19 pandemic affects marginalization. Transport Policy109, 24-36.

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