“Digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access. This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet”
Let’s take some statistics for the start
In Poland for every 3 adult people, 2 of them have already used the internet. The report also says that 5 % of computer users do not have access to the Internet. Equally, out of 13 million Polish above 50 years old, 10 million do not use the Internet at all (78%). This statistic is being considered as a huge problem comparing to European average. The elderly consumers in Poland are not able to take advantage in low prices and better services and polish companies does not have the possibilities to reach seniors using the Internet as a tool.
Digital divide in Logistics, as my field of studies
Logistics and New Media has one, very important thing in common –the communication. In fact communication is crucial in supply management and lowering the costprice. Better communication results in providing better service for customers. That is why development of Logistics goes together with development of Internet.
Logistics in the Internet with advantage for customers
One of the services is the possibility to make your order online. As a customer you can compare several couriers online to choose the most flexible and suitable one. Also it is possible to fins the most convenience transport channel for any of your needs.
Many companies in Poland (like DPD, DHL, FedEx, GLS Polska, InPost) use trouble-free monitoring of the status of the packages. So if you buy something online, by using the system you can easily find out where exactly is your package and what day/time it will arrive to you. It is obvious that system is available only online, so people with no access to the Internet cannot check the status of their package/parcel.
Take into consideration the subject of transport of people, the use of the Internet has never ending number of possibilities. If you need to travel from point A to point B, depends on the distance, available time, money and several different factors you can chose among different means of transport. You can book your tickets (for planes, trains, buses, ships), check the timetable, check the distances and geographical details of your destination, make a complaint and many, many others.
That is why, digital divide disenable particular part of society to use all of the opportunities, which has the influence on logistics companies. Because if more people had the acces to the Internet, the income and sales indicator would be higher.
Logistics in the Internet with advantage for companies of interest
As mentioned before development of the Internet has a great impact on Logistics growth. Several companies take the advantages on it by implementing many different solutions and services for customers. Also they are building better communication channels to improve the transport and distribution. Now the time of realising the order is more than 5 times better than 10 years ago. It is the claim to fame for the Internet. Flow of the Information is one of the most important feature and task at the same time, and the Internet make is available and much more fast.
Companies started to use Internet also is business contact, not only with customers but also to have/keep contact with other companies. Nowadays the e-business, e-shops and e-commerce are growing rapidly and logistics is involved part of the new trends in business.
Present logistics use the free following tools of the Internet:
- World Wide Web
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Another use of the Internet is Transport Exchange Services, where the access to the Internet is very crucial. If you are in the group of people from digital divide you will not know this service.
Coming back to Poland
In my opinion the government should try to improve to accessibility to the Internet just to decrease the issue of digital divide. It will have impact on the economy growth, because more people will be able to use the services accessible only on the Internet (like shopping, paying bills, doing bank transfers). It is not only about economics, but also about cultural aspects, information sharing and many, many more. Poland is still country with high indicator of digital divide, which comparing to European countries is not very good.
TSL biznes – magazine, 4/2014 (46) Warsaw