Deadhead

A deadhead is a term used in the logistics or transport industry to refer to an equipment or vehicle meant to carry a payload, being moved without carrying anything at all.

As machinery, equipment and vehicles are assets that help these businesses generate revenue, carrying no payload means that the movement of these things have no real economic value.

Thus, a deadhead.

For example, a shuttle bus that is meant to ferry people from a pick-up location (such as a train station) to a drop-off location (such as a shopping mall) would eventually have to end operations at the end of the day.

The trip this bus makes to the depot after closing operations would be empty of passengers except the driver. This vehicle would be classified as a deadhead during this particular trip.

The same can be said of cargo trucks that are meant to carry goods from one location to another during the day as part of business operations.

When it goes back to the parking or warehouse facility at the day, it would be void of goods. And therefore, a deadhead during the journey to the facility.

This can also be said of people offering private one-way transport.

If a driver send a customer to a particular destination and has to return back to the original location with no passengers, it is also a deadhead during the return trip.

While deadhead is a term that is mostly used in relation to the transport industry, it can also have other meaning in other areas of business.

For example, when used to describe a business person, it is meant to convey that this person is not innovative and boring.

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