Cargo Containers - sizes?

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Jak Nazryth
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Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:27 pm

I got in a debate with one of the people in my gaming group several years ago, and it's nagged at me ever since.
I've got quite a few designs that few have seen, but I'm slowly converting them to MgT2, but the argument centered around the layout of the cargo bay in one of my designs.
It was his opinion that the design of the cargo bay "sucked" because it could not fit a row of cargo containers nice and neat, and there was too much wasted space that you couldn't fill.
My reply was that while massive cargo haulers would be designed to haul nothing but containers... like a modern container ship... smaller ships like tramp freighters would have all different sized crates, pallets, boxes, and shipping containers of various sizes. In essence, if you had 43 tons of cargo space, you can fit 43 tons of cargo in it, and it rarely matters if the space can be divided neatly to fit a row of large containers.

So here is the question.

How large is a typical cargo container?

My standard answer is "4 tons". A basic metal box that fits into a volume of 3x3x6 meters

Any thoughts? Is there something in the rules I haven't read yet?
Believe it or not, this kind of crap is what I stress out about when creating deck plans! lol :)
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:52 pm

I don't think there is any canon, so your guess is as good as any other.

Since CT cargo is generally rolled up in 1, 5, or 10 ton lots it would make sense if a standard cargo container was an even fraction of 5 dT, perhaps roughly like a TEU at about 2.5 dT.

Since a spacecraft deck is generally 3 m, I would imagine that a space transportable container would be somewhat less than 3 m high.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Infojunky » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:30 am

I tend to layout cargo spaces in 6 meter cubes.

But, that is for large cargo vessels. Larger than your classic 200 dTon freetrader. While said smaller can and do carry standard containers frequently, I also see them able to carry palletised cargoes as well. I also find containers based off of aircraft unit load devices very attractive as well.

With the palletised are easier to transfer in shirt sleeve environments. A lot of ships on my drawing board have variations of thru deck pallet lift to handle palletised cargo. Using automation instead of bulk containerisation as a time saving device.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Reynard » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:53 am

I've thought about it for a long time. Don't really remember seeing 'standard' cargo sizes in those 40 years that have stuck probably because sizes and configurations of hold vary so much. I would agree 3 meters is fairly standard minus enough to actually maneuver in that space. Could the 1.5x1.5 grid we all know be a clue to what spacers use for cargo measurement? I see one cube, 4 cube and 8 cube containers as useful measures for adventure ship sized holds. Larger freighters could have a standard 3x3x15 (I'm thinking a standard US trailer cargo pod).
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Infojunky » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:21 am

Reynard wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:53 am
I've thought about it for a long time. Don't really remember seeing 'standard' cargo sizes in those 40 years that have stuck probably because sizes and configurations of hold vary so much. .
It was introduced as an Idea in the Traveller Adventure, from there occasionally in the DGP products, which to be honest where the bulk of MT exists.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:47 am

At the lower end of the scale:

Image
hivemindx
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby hivemindx » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:24 am

There was a thread about cargo a while back and I posted some possible cargo container configurations here:-
viewtopic.php?f=89&t=119369&p=910366#p910366

I agree that when you are dealing with Free/Far Traders you are talking about not always optimal cargo handling. There may be gaps that can't be filled in the hold but on the other hand you can transport a ton of seeds in sacks if you want where a large commercial freighter won't even consider anything that isn't already in a nice standard (probably way larger than 1 ton) cargo container.

The comparison to Ryanair baggage actually works pretty well. Basic Passage gives you 10kg of luggage and Mid Passage gives you 100kg and costs roughly triple. On Ryanair your hand luggage limit is 10kg, if you want to put 100kg in the hold (the actual limit is 40kg) it would cost you roughly €200 on top of your flight cost of (as an example) €50. This means on Ryanair the difference between 'basic' and 'mid' is a cost factor of 5 instead of 3 and the only thing you get for this is extra luggage. It means that as a referee you could consider the only difference between the basic and mid passage is the luggage, the passengers more than get enough benefit out of the extra 90kg of luggage and you don't need to be any nicer to them.

For high passage, where you are expecting to be treated nicely as well as have a colossal 1000kg of luggage you should probably look for another airline.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby phavoc » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:38 pm

If you use real-world examples, you'd probably see containers in 10Dton, and 5Dton as your standards. For smaller traders you would probably see 2 & 3 dton variants. Keep in mind that what will drive the sizes of the containers is your cargo handling infrastructure. So your loaders & transporters need to be able to take on standard sizes, thus that will drive the sizes of containers you will see.

10Dton would be carried by the larger freighters, just like container ships do today. Two of the 5Dton can be substituted for the 10Dton, so that works as well. The 2 & 3Dton ones would show up a lot on the smaller cargo routes, especially in Free Traders. The Subsidized trader would be able to haul full-sized containers easily enough, along with a mix of smaller ones.

And there will be variants (frames that hold cylindrical ones for liquids, etc). But for the most part you should see just a handful of standard sized ones everywhere you find cargo.
Jak Nazryth
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Jak Nazryth » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:10 pm

Not sure if there is an "official" Traveller size (I'll have to consult my copy of Merchant Prince again) but here are some standard sizes we used today, not sure if these are international sizes, or just in the U.S., but this is a good example because it gives sizes in both feet and meters.
This is part of an article on how you can buy used shipping containers and turn them into homes and other cool items.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/367676757061727178/


https://www.pinterest.com/explore/shipp ... ner-sizes/
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:19 pm

I think a 30 ton module size that fits into the Modular Cutter would be standard, that would allow modules to be filled and transported easily in a single load via cutter.

Larger units would make loading larger ships faster and easier. If there is a massive ship carrying 1000 tons of more of cargo, loading in at 10 ton modules at a time would take a long time. The space based version of cargo breakers and loaders might come back into fashion. All the 5 ton modules are loaded into a 100 ton module to make loading larger ships faster and easier.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby phavoc » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:29 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:19 pm
I think a 30 ton module size that fits into the Modular Cutter would be standard, that would allow modules to be filled and transported easily in a single load via cutter.

Larger units would make loading larger ships faster and easier. If there is a massive ship carrying 1000 tons of more of cargo, loading in at 10 ton modules at a time would take a long time. The space based version of cargo breakers and loaders might come back into fashion. All the 5 ton modules are loaded into a 100 ton module to make loading larger ships faster and easier.
Would depend on how you designed your container carrier. If you wanted to quickly change out containers on the transport you'd pre-load the cargo containers in a larger container. For example, you could create a 500 ton 'container' that inside had slots and rails to hold 45 10 ton containers (stacked 3 high, 3 deep and 5 long). A cargo lighter could then move that container to a space warehouse or to the planet for unloading.

A 13,000 TEU ship (holds about 4500 full size containers) can be unloaded in about 24hrs - that assumes you have 5-6 container cranes that are relatively modern (i.e. fast), AND you had proper ground capabilities and storage for all those containers. For something as fast in space you'd need a lot of cargo pods to capture the containers as they were unloaded. Sometimes gravity is not such a bad thing.. your costs would certainly be lower for your ground infrastructure.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:43 pm

Well that's the issue for Highports. How fast can you unload a ship with several thousand tons of cargo (and each ton is 14 cubic meters) Imagine 2000 tons of ore coming in on a ship. Millions of metric tonnes of mass to move. (Thank you M Drives and gravity control).

Imagine 4500 containers being unloaded at a Highport by cargo tugs. How long would it take to unload and reload such a ship? What about on the surface of the planet?
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby phavoc » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:49 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:43 pm
Well that's the issue for Highports. How fast can you unload a ship with several thousand tons of cargo (and each ton is 14 cubic meters) Imagine 2000 tons of ore coming in on a ship. Millions of metric tonnes of mass to move. (Thank you M Drives and gravity control).

Imagine 4500 containers being unloaded at a Highport by cargo tugs. How long would it take to unload and reload such a ship? What about on the surface of the planet?
An advantage of doing it in space is that you could, conceivably, be able to unload a vessel from any (or possibly) all directions. A disadvantage is that in zero-g everything you do requires force to be applied (and applied again to stop it from moving).

Previous versions of Traveller had presser/tractor beams which would be HUGELY advantageous. But since they don't exist in MGT universe you have to go old school with pods. Though I suppose you could make a mobile platform that had anti-gravity on the deckplates and drop your containers off there so they don't drift or tumble away. While in theory you could just pull it out of the ship, move a short distance away and leave it there with at rest to the local gravity well and collect it later. But I think in reality some yard dog would screw things up and that container would drift somewhere it wasn't supposed to go (let alone accidents).
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:05 pm

No need for pods at larger highports. Either mate cargo hatch with the highport or let the ship into a bay in the highport, adjust the gravity to something advantageous, and let the cargo cranes do their job.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:21 pm

One thing about containerships, they tend to be open to the elements, so height usually isn't an issue.

If you start placing the containers inside holds, for the smaller freighters, this could be an issue.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby AndrewW » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:25 pm

phavoc wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:49 pm
Previous versions of Traveller had presser/tractor beams which would be HUGELY advantageous. But since they don't exist in MGT universe you have to go old school with pods.
They are in the High Technology chapter of the new High Guard.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Infojunky » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:09 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:19 pm
I think a 30 ton module size that fits into the Modular Cutter would be standard, that would allow modules to be filled and transported easily in a single load via cutter.

Larger units would make loading larger ships faster and easier. If there is a massive ship carrying 1000 tons of more of cargo, loading in at 10 ton modules at a time would take a long time. The space based version of cargo breakers and loaders might come back into fashion. All the 5 ton modules are loaded into a 100 ton module to make loading larger ships faster and easier.
The real limiting factor is ground shipping, what is the largest container you can shift using TL5 handling gear?
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Reynard » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:56 am

We must assume if there is a high tech A or B class Highport over a TL 6- world the port needs to be the interface and provide cargo handling up to the gate planetside where it's handed off the local shipping facilities.
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:04 am

Google has this as a search result for how many cubic meters in a shipping container

Type Cubic Capacity
20 Footer 33.2 cubic meters (1,170 cubic feet)
40 Footer 67.7 cubic meters (2,391 cubic feet)
40 Footer High Cube 76.4 cubic meters (2,700 cubic feet)
40 Footer High Cube Reefer 67.7 cubic meters (2,391 cubic feet)

So the 40 footer at 67.7 cubic meters works and 1 ton at 14 cubic meters is 4.835
So maybe in the future TL 5 shipping trucks are a little bigger and take 5 Ton containers?? So a 30 ton module would have 6 shipping containers in it. Or keep the 4.8 tons and assume the other .2 tons is the container size loss from putting one container inside another one?

At a 6 to 1 shipping rate a single cargo ship unloading at a port will be a huge boom to the local shipping company. Imagine a 900 ton load being unloaded, 300 30 ton modules, 1800 truckloads of goods.

And to add a mass twist, what mass can the 4 or 5 ton module carry?
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Re: Cargo Containers - sizes?

Postby Reynard » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:01 pm

Are we talking about a container filled with feathers or lead?

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