Home Deadheads: They Weren’t Always Good for the Environment

Deadheads: They Weren’t Always Good for the Environment

The term “deadhead” didn’t always refer to a peace-loving, tree-hugging, hippie. In the transportation and shipping industry, “deadhead“, actually referred to the inefficient waste of fuel that consisted of an empty jet or 18-wheeler making the return trip from its delivery.

Not only are deadheads bad for business, but they’re bad for the environment, and technology is working to wipe deadheads out completely. New services, like Austin-based uShip, are working to match carriers and customers in ways that are good for the environment.

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uShip is an auction-based market place for shipping where customers put up their shipments and carriers make bids on them. The service not only makes it easy for customers to ship goods, but get them the best price. Beyond that, uShip makes it easy for carriers to fill all the gaps in their shipments, reducing the number of deadheads and increasing efficiency. In the case of shipping, efficiency is good for the environment.

“The trucking industry has historically been inefficient,” said uShip CEO Matt Chasen. “You’ve have truckers that haven’t had great access to loads and customers. A lot of these truckers are running trips anyway and they use uShip to find customers to fill in the gaps.”

uShip has run a green shipping program since 2004, which it says has helped to offset more than 210 million miles and 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

“It’s a part of our mantra,” said Chasen. “A key part in creating uShip was to efficiently match excess capacity in the form of empty trucks with customer demand.”

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