Logistics Word of the Day: Dead-head

2 min readJul 21, 2017


The logistics industry almost has its own language. A typical conversation between two logistics pros is filled with jargon that is very hard for industry outsiders to understand. This article series will explore some of these words as a fun way of getting to know the ins and outs of logistics.

Today’s word is dead-head.

In music, a deadhead can only mean one thing: a loyal fan of the legendary band The Grateful Dead. Deadheads are mostly a happy, fun-loving bunch.

In shipping, however, a dead-head is something else entirely, and it’s not fun at all. A dead-head refers to any part of the transportation trip in which no freight is being carried. It’s a very common occurrence in trucking. Many trucks complete a shipment, only to head back home with an empty container, burning time and gas money but generating no revenue. That’s why the distances traveled by dead-heads are known as empty miles.

Empty miles make supply chains around the world more inefficient and are a drag on any shipping company’s bottom line. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the frequency of dead-head trips.

Logistics technology startups such as Miami-based Quickload have combined knowledge and experience from both the trucking and the tech world to keep empty miles at a minimum. Quickload’s platform allows shippers to find carriers in real-time, making it an ideal tool for drivers who just completed a shipment. Instead of heading back home with an empty container, they can use the platform to quickly find a new shipment headed in the return trip’s direction, thus generating revenue on both legs of the trip instead of just one. This is just one of the many ways that platforms such as Quickload are helping logistics become more efficient than ever.

Bottom line: if you’re like rock music then, by all means, be a deadhead. But if you’re in shipping, it’s best to use Quickload.

Learn more here.

Content Creator: Pablo Torres




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