Megafreighters

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
HalC
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:50 pm

Talking about Trade efficiencies and the like is all well and good, but it isn't the whole picture. For a manufacturing powerhouse to exist, there has to be not only a huge infrastructure in place to produce manufactured goods, there also has to be a vast amount of raw resources available for use by the manufacturing infrastructure.

If Superfreighters do not go to small ports, and we're using the concept that Traveller interstellar trade is akin to nations, then perhaps the biggest issue right off the bat is just how much trade demand there is for various goods, and why.

TL - that not only determines where the world's standards of living are set relative to the prevailing high tech worlds, but also what the infrastructure is set to. But when you start to discuss megafreighters - aren't they a means to an end - distribution of products produced at an economic powerhouse to the rest of the less fortunate regions nearby? If that is the case, shouldn't most of the worlds have access to the highest tech level goods of the closest powerhouse in the region?

As for multi-jump freight costs...

Let's say for the sake of giggles, that you want to ship 100 M1 Garand Rifles. Why M1 Garand? A quick Google of shipping crate stats yielded "They are 18" wide, 49 1/2" long and 13 1/2" deep" for a crate that carried 10 rifles. So, 10 rifles at roughly 7.3 cubic feet per 10 rifles, with one dTon at roughly 500 cubic feet volume, would yield (say, at 90% storage efficiency) some 60 crates per dton. That is 600 rifles. Now, at 1,000 credits per jump - at say, 10 parsecs total distance at 1 parsec per jump, we're looking at a total increase in cost of 10,000 credits.

Dividing 10,000 by 600, and the shipping cost increase on those rifles becomes 16.67 credits per rifle overall. That's using the old Classic Traveller rules of shipping costs per parsec per jump. The CT rules were such that you got 1,000 credits per JUMP - not parsec. That meant then, that a shipping destination that was reachable in 5 jumps, would tack on only 5,000 credits per dton, effectively halving the increased cost per unit item being shipped.

MgT figures the pricing differently, as does GURPS etc. But in the long run, the methodology works the same - figure out how many units are being shipped per dton, divide the entire cost of shipping the dton's worth of goods by units within the dton, and that's the increase in cost.

Would you pay double the cost of a laser Rifle if your world can't manufacture it? Let's say for giggles, that 1 dton of volume can hold HALF the number of Garand rifles for Laser Rifles. That's 300 units per Dton right? Remember, I assumed a 10% loss of volume due to stacking issues, and having to be able to access the crates with handling equipment (forklifts, hands grabbing the ends of boxes via the handles etc). But even so - how much of a shipping cost would it take to make the cost of a laser rifle worth 8,000 credits, double?

Reversing the process I used above to derive the shipping cost per unit...

8000 x 300 = 2.4 Mcr.

Think about that. We'd have to add on 2.4 MCr's worth of shipping cost per dton before the cost of a laser rifle would effectively double - assuming that a laser rifle takes up twice the volume that an M1 Garand requires.

In a GURPS TRAVELLER campaign, or a CLASSIC TRAVELLER campaign, there is the issue of currency differences where a credit on a TL 8 world is not worth the same as a credit on a TL 15 world, so currency exchange rates would also come into play - but you get the gist of what I'm trying to point out here.

What makes shipping in the Traveller Universe the way it is - isn't how effective the ships are at handling the trade volume per se, it is how efficient the costs of transport will appeal to the shippers themselves.

Want to have fun? Go through and identify the "powerhouses" within the Spinward Marches (by powerhouses, those whose population and tech level and resources are sufficient to be deemed local hubs of manufacturing for the lesser worlds nearby). Then assume that for two equal powerhouses (ie TL and population) that they compete with each other to half the distance between them. Map out the territories for those powerhouse worlds just to see what their shipping ranges will be. Finally, figure out what the value assigned to the items being sold are, and determine what the unit cost of shipping per dton has to be for the good(s) in question and add it to the cost of the goods itself. Note too, that when you buy something mail order - they always talk about not only the price of the item you want to purchase, but S & H costs (Shipping and Handling). So, the "and Handling" cost will be a bit more, but that's a function of what the logistics industry will charge to move that "good" for you. Then add in the warehousing costs if any. Add in the wages cost of those who have to pick it up, stock it, or what have you. But - assuming that you can't afford to ship high value things for long distances and state that it is easier to manufacture things locally - sort of makes an assumption that is maybe not 100% true.

Now for the kicker...

Economics.

Let's say for the sake of argument, that for every item that is to be sold, there has to be a buyer. Let's further stipulate that for every buyer, there has to be a means for them to "earn" credits. Sounds simple right? But if you have a factory that is highly automated, you don't NEED workers to work. So, the people you don't hire, don't get paid. Who is going to be able to buy those things that cost money if they don't have jobs to buy those costly things, or can't get paid enough to be able to earn it? For some "third world" countries, that's a problem. They can't buy the goods unless it is DIRT cheap to match their DIRT CHEAP incomes. That may be why you can't sell cars to an Asian country that is largely made up of clusters of islands and fishermen whose catch doesn't generate them huge amounts of excess cash. If an Economic powerhouse is so efficient at manufacturing that neighbors can't compete, they become dependent upon the powerhouse to make those things they'd like.

So, there's a lot of simplification being done, a lot of abstractions involved that people lose sight of what may be involved in a Traveller style economy. I just chose the M1 Garand as an example. BIC pens require certain relatively high precision manufacturing techniques not present on a world that is stuck with medieval style technology. If BIC pens were sold at a cheap enough price that people would love them on a Medieval tech world - that puts a few ink manufacturers out of business on that medieval style world. It would also likely render the quills used as pens largely pointless. And who is going to put up a BIC pen competitor factory if the cost to build the manufacturing equipment makes the cost of operating the machinery and supplying it with raw materials - can STILL be undercut by the Powerhouse some 12 parsecs away at half the price even after transportation costs are factored in?

That brings me back to the point I made earlier: For a buyer to buy goods, they have to have money to buy with. The trade partner has to have something the powerhouse wants. If the backwater trade partner has neither those things the powerhouse wants, nor can afford what the powerhouse charges for its goods - then there won't be a trade partnership.

So, that's my thoughts on the matter. Certain trade assumptions on how far certain goods can be transported before the goods are not considered to be economically viable - needs to be revised. How many units per Cubic Foot can you have of medicine? If you can have 2 doses of medicine per cubic inch, and carry about 1.4 million doses per dton - adding 10 MCr shipping cost for the dTon merely adds 7.15 credit surcharge to the value of ONE dose of medicine.

How far do you have to ship something to incur a 10 MCr shipping cost per dTon?
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Condottiere » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:26 pm

Communications devices.

Gun running only makes sense if demand is created.
Reynard
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Reynard » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:05 pm

High Guard v1, page 140. 20 x 2000 dton modules plus 3563 dton cargo hold and Jump 3 (Jump 4 with 5 modules used as fuel containers).

"So even a regular line may have to speculate a lot on where it needs its ships to be, or have capacity idle, and this can reward using a higher number of smaller vessels than would be expected."

I assume large volume freighter services have a good idea how stable future business should be barring a fantastic downturn such as a war. Relying on speculation seems far more costly for corporations and governments who have the facilities and resources to know the market well enough to invest in long term large volume transport. Super and mega freighters are the workhorses of solid, stable markets while there can be sub departments in the same organization designed to exploit the niche trade of speculation though I'd say even those vessels better serve continuous small cargo markets. It's your traders and small independent companies that pick up the trade leavings too trivial to concern big money business.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Moppy » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:18 pm

Reynard wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:05 pm
I assume large volume freighter services have a good idea how stable future business should be barring a fantastic downturn such as a war. Relying on speculation seems far more costly for corporations and governments who have the facilities and resources to know the market well enough to invest in long term large volume transport. Super and mega freighters are the workhorses of solid, stable markets while there can be sub departments in the same organization designed to exploit the niche trade of speculation though I'd say even those vessels better serve continuous small cargo markets. It's your traders and small independent companies that pick up the trade leavings too trivial to concern big money business.

Image

I thought that too, but stuff like this happens still

I know that on Earth the freight lines take on and get rid of ships quite frequently according to various factors (e.g. they lease them for a few years at a time), depending on their current capacity and their predictions.

Perhaps the imperium is more stable - but then they also work on longer time scales - which may make it proportionally the same.
Last edited by Moppy on Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reynard
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Reynard » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:20 pm

And yet they still place orders for superfreighters. They know something we don't?
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Moppy » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:22 pm

Reynard wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:20 pm
And yet they still place orders for superfreighters. They know something we don't?
Can you explain this a little better?
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby phavoc » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:26 pm

A trading system implies both importing and exporting. Economic theory states that all players engaging in trade will specialize in what they are good at, and import that which they are not. Theory doesn't cover things like food security or military security, so you have to tweak the understanding somewhat. Nobody wants to be vulnerable to being cut off and starving or having another nation rolling over their borders because they make chocolate instead of steel for military things.

But planets that export finished goods will most likely import raw materials, or components. The economic system of Traveller is very ill-defined. Which is both good and bad. The cost for shipping anything will need to be based upon the cost to ship it. Thus paying for a per-jump is good for the merchant but bad for the shipper if they have to do a J-3 instead of a J-1. So costs would(should) be based upon a flat rate for cargo x the distance of the jump. That's how shipping costs are charged here (except you replace jumps with regular distance). Hidden in all the rates are costs related to interchange between ship and rail and truck for final delivery. But to the buyer of the container they are told $$ to ship a container from Shanghai to NYC. So long as you don't go over the maximum load of the container if you shipped a single pillow or a container full of them your costs are the same - you are buying the space in the container. Admittedly there may be some savings or additional charges if you go above/below an average container weight, but it's much easier for discussion sake to keep it simple. Plus Traveller doesn't care about mass, so ship all the lead you want!!
Condottiere
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Condottiere » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:27 pm

As I recall, orders are placed as capacity tightens, and deliveries tend to come during economic downturns.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby phavoc » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:30 pm

Moppy wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:22 pm
Reynard wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:20 pm
And yet they still place orders for superfreighters. They know something we don't?
Can you explain this a little better?
Ship replacements are based on a number of factors. Newer ships are generally bigger, and costs are fixed (i.e. crew), so more containers in same ship = more profits. There is also the issue of fuel and pollution standards. Newer ships use diesel engines instead of bunker-C fuel oil. So it's cheaper (usually) to build a new ship then to re-engine an older one. And there is the continual boom/bust cycle where weaker lines go under, or older ships get scrapped or sold off due to over-capacity or economic downturn. Then when the economy picks up there are new orders placed for new ships to carry the extra cargo (rates have gone up in the short term). It's complicated, but not really. Economics 101 + greed + short-sightedness = lots of change.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Old School » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:12 pm

There are also a lot of older ships that return to service if demand is high enough, particularly bulk vessels. Barely seaworthy ships under a flag of convienence and a third rate crew and captain, rounding the horn of Africa. Fun times.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby Old School » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:53 pm

Reynard wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:56 am
Looking for information on another topic and needed to browse High Guard 1e and... oh my. Stuck in the back of the ship listings is an official superfrieghter. I looked in all the other supplements for large freighter examples. It's definitely a different monster than my concept. Now converting it to HG2e though it's going to need a HUGE computer for the software.
Nice. 25 x 2,000 dton containers. Could customize containers for a lot of different purposes.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:11 pm

HalC wrote: That brings me back to the point I made earlier: For a buyer to buy goods, they have to have money to buy with. The trade partner has to have something the powerhouse wants. If the backwater trade partner has neither those things the powerhouse wants, nor can afford what the powerhouse charges for its goods - then there won't be a trade partnership.
The traditional answer is comparative advantage (wiki).


Laser rifles require a backpack, so are nowhere as compact as rifles.


Otherwise I agree, shipping is reasonably cheap for compact, high-value goods.

In a highly competitive market even a few percent difference in cost can make a significant difference. You should not ask "How far can I ship this without doubling the cost", but more like "From where can I source this item for the lowest cost (including shipping, exchange rates, and taxes)"? This will lead to a much more diverse market than just a few "powerhouse" supplying all manufactured goods.


Following this logic will lead to a nivellation of TLs, leading to most worlds having the same TL.
This does not match the Imperium we have, that a millennia after the Long Night still have widely diverse TLs. So trade has to be somewhat limited to agree with the Imperium we have.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby phavoc » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:38 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:53 pm
Reynard wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:56 am
Looking for information on another topic and needed to browse High Guard 1e and... oh my. Stuck in the back of the ship listings is an official superfrieghter. I looked in all the other supplements for large freighter examples. It's definitely a different monster than my concept. Now converting it to HG2e though it's going to need a HUGE computer for the software.
Nice. 25 x 2,000 dton containers. Could customize containers for a lot of different purposes.
Logistically this brings up a valid point - would you have such massive pieces to carry containers (using a standard 10Dton container, cause we all know the Imperium LOVES standardization.. plus it just makes too much sense to have a standard container), a 2,000 dton 'container' would hold 200 containers each. Would it make more sense to reduce the sizes to say 500 dtons each (holding 50 containers) to allow for more flexibility for shipping and distribution? At 2k dtons that's a big thing to haul around in space, to load/unload, or to try and get down to a planet. Reducing that to 500 tons makes it possible for that to be taken directly planetside on a cargo lighter. Goods for a planet are meant to be distributed, so splitting them up allows, for example, these 5 containers are destined for City A, these three for City B, this one for Station C, etc, etc. There's also the idea that you may not want to mix up certain kinds of containers. Hauling certain types of chemicals or cargo's is the norm, but if there was a leak and they combined.. oopsie? Smaller containers make for potentially less cargo damages and easier for load planners to keep some things separate. For anyone interested I found this about segregating and stowing hazardous cargo aboard ships - http://www.shipsbusiness.com/dgcgo.html
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:11 pm
HalC wrote: That brings me back to the point I made earlier: For a buyer to buy goods, they have to have money to buy with. The trade partner has to have something the powerhouse wants. If the backwater trade partner has neither those things the powerhouse wants, nor can afford what the powerhouse charges for its goods - then there won't be a trade partnership.
The traditional answer is comparative advantage (wiki).

Laser rifles require a backpack, so are nowhere as compact as rifles.

Otherwise I agree, shipping is reasonably cheap for compact, high-value goods.

In a highly competitive market even a few percent difference in cost can make a significant difference. You should not ask "How far can I ship this without doubling the cost", but more like "From where can I source this item for the lowest cost (including shipping, exchange rates, and taxes)"? This will lead to a much more diverse market than just a few "powerhouse" supplying all manufactured goods.

Following this logic will lead to a nivellation of TLs, leading to most worlds having the same TL.
This does not match the Imperium we have, that a millennia after the Long Night still have widely diverse TLs. So trade has to be somewhat limited to agree with the Imperium we have.
To HalC's point, trade exists where there is demand. Today you see trade with countries like Somalia, Ethiopia (and many other African nations that have very little money or resources) and other places around the world. Is it big? No. But some people there can buy iPhones, and H&K assault rifles, BMW's, truffles and Beluga caviar. State actors can buy things like tanks, and fighters and Boeing Dreamliners. There is generally always money and opportunity, but the scale depends on the size of the economy and what that economy has to offer trading partners in return. And this will define the scale of trade. A container ship that docks in Long Beach might carry 10,000 containers. One that docks in Mogadishu might only carry 500. Both may have the same dwell time in port, but that's due to the local nature of the capabilities of the port. Not every port will be able to expend the funds to unload a megafreighter in 24-36hrs.

If one were to look at the cost of an iPhone 10 in Mogadishu I'm betting (unless we are talking black market here), the cost will be greater than what the average person walking in off the street to an AT&T store in NYC will pay. The original cost from the point of manufacture is the same, but the NYC phone might have shipped straight from Foxconn in China to Long Beach, put on a train and was delivered to an NYC warehouse within 72hrs of arrival. And then it's trucked to the store and is available for purchase. Costs are kept to a minimum due to the very efficient cargo shipping network the US enjoys.

The phone to Mogadishu might have been sent by ship to Rotterdam, unloaded and sent to a warehouse. From there it might have been resold once or thrice, to a series of middlemen, then loaded on a transport for delivery to Mogadishu. Since Mogadishu receives nowhere near the amount of cargo that Long Beach does, the ship in question may have sailed to ports in the Mediterrean to pick up/deliver other cargo, transited the Suez canal, stopped in Sudan, Eritrea, Dijibouti before finally arriving in Mogadishu.

The cost to transport the container to Mogadishu would have been higher, though not as high as you might think. It would have certainly been a lot slower, but that goes back to the merchant adage of saving a buck to make a buck. If your cargo is not perishable and speed is not of the essence, then a merchant will pay for the cheapest shipping possible. Which is why the Sealand container ships that were built were never cost effective and were sold after only 10 years. They could do 30 knots instead of the 20knots the other ships could. Sealand though that people would pay for the extra speed. They thought wrong. Customers weren't willing to pay the extra costs, and Sealand lost money due to the higher costs of operation and the inability to charge more for a faster ship.

The Traveller model isn't a very good one. Then again, to be fair, who wants to create one that is complex but "fair". Many people just roll the dice or consult a chart, so keeping it simple, if not realistic, is sensible. The issue is always how to balance gaming fun vs. realism. Selling a crate of stolen laser rifles to a bunch of herdsmen on a TL4 planet is boring. But GETTING to that point is probably the fun source of that adventure session.

And if you aren't having fun, you are doing the wrong thing.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:39 pm

phavoc wrote: To HalC's point, trade exists where there is demand.
Since I agreed with HalC, it seems we all agree. Great!

phavoc wrote: Today you see trade with countries like Somalia, Ethiopia (and many other African nations that have very little money or resources) and other places around the world. Is it big? No. But some people there can buy iPhones, and H&K assault rifles, BMW's, truffles and Beluga caviar. State actors can buy things like tanks, and fighters and Boeing Dreamliners.
Yes, obviously, leading to that all countries on Earth being the same TL today. But that has not happened in the Imperium, somehow.

phavoc wrote: The Traveller model isn't a very good one. Then again, to be fair, who wants to create one that is complex but "fair". Many people just roll the dice or consult a chart, so keeping it simple, if not realistic, is sensible. The issue is always how to balance gaming fun vs. realism.
Agreed, the large scale economic model of the Imperium and other polities are basically undefined, and only hinted at in Gurps.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby WingedCat » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:25 am

If you're looking for megafreighters, here is a fully automated one for your use, with a good cost/cargo-dton ratio.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:39 pm
Yes, obviously, leading to that all countries on Earth being the same TL today. But that has not happened in the Imperium, somehow.
I'd equate a third world nation being able to acquire iPhones, to low TL planets being able to import a few higher-TL goods. A planet's TL seems to indicate what it can manufacture and support locally, and thus what most people will have. (The wide distribution of smartphones is due to higher TL regions being able to deploy their own infrastructure - including satellites - that works for not cost in lower TL regions too, which wouldn't exist in this analogy.)
Last edited by WingedCat on Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby phavoc » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:45 am

I would say the Imperium would act like Earth does today. The local TL of a planet only affects the costs of goods, not that you could not get them. Just like if your Dreamliner breaks down in Mogadishu airport, you will have some basic spares available, but a new engine may need to be flown out (or if you did have a spare, it would still need to be transported out for depot-level repair). Getting a TL-15 item on a TL-7 world means an increase in costs, or time to get it, but not that it's impossible or improbable. Just that they most likely did not make them locally (though as we've seen with iPhones, if you ship in certain parts and have other basic ones made on-site, and use local low-tech labor, you can get a very advanced piece of equipment).

I've always used the common-sense rule of (a) what is it the players want, (b) would it be reasonably found for a higher price on a lower tech world where it's not natively manufactured, and (c) what is the use of the item. So a TL-14 FGMP on a TL-7 world with a law level of 1 is probably not going to be stocked in quantity at your local gunsmith. But, if the world (or station) was a mercenary hub, it's more likely to be found. Getting enough to outfit a company would require an order to be placed. Getting one or two, or maybe spares, would be available. The other issue is just how far away from a point of manufacture are the players. If they are far,far away (say 10 parsecs), yeah, you could see a doubling of the cost just in transport and middleman fees. But if they were a single jump away from a industrial world, then the cost might only be 20% higher or so. It's somewhat science and somewhat art - but all left up to the ref unless the players are going to invest the time and effort to get an order placed with a reputable dealer.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby baithammer » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:58 am

phavoc wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:38 pm

Logistically this brings up a valid point - would you have such massive pieces to carry containers (using a standard 10Dton container, cause we all know the Imperium LOVES standardization..
Mongoose 2ed has 32dt and 65 dt containers, the referenced items are modules rather than standardized containers.

Highguard 2ed under Crane.
The crane is strong enough to lift
fully loaded 32 and 65 ton containers and can couple to
most types of pallets or creates.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby steve98052 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:15 pm

When it comes to container standardization, history tends to matter. For example, there's a traceable line of history that ties the diameter of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket boosters to roads built by the Roman Empire. The Romans built roads for a certain number of soldiers marching abreast, which defined the width of the roads they built. Merchants who used Roman roads with wheeled carriages designed them for the roads, and with time the carriages ground ruts into the roads that made it difficult to use any other wheel width-spacing on them, because with wider spacing the ruts would push the wheels inward and narrower outward. Those wheel spacings would generate matching ruts in non-Roman roads. Eventually, railroads were built to match the cargo widths of the non-rail vehicles. And because the rocket boosters were transported by rail, they ended up limited in diameter by the rail rights of way.

As this would apply to the Imperium, container standards would be a hybrid of Ziru Sirka standards and Terran standards. I don't know what Vilani shipping container dimensions were, but presumably there's some small integer ratio between a Vilani container and a Terran TEU (or FEU) container.

To illustrate, a TEU is just under 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and variable height; 8.5 feet is the most common height, and a FEU is 40 feet long. Suppose a Vilani container is about 29 feet × 9 feet × 9 feet. A super container built to transport both FEU and Vilani containers with a minimum of wasted space would be 120 feet long (three FEU, four Vilani), 72 feet wide (nine FEU, eight Vilani), and any convenient height (because 8.5 feet and nine feet are so similar). The height of such a container would probably be defined mostly by the stacking limit of the containers.

Does anyone have a reference for Vilani customary units of measurement?

- - -
phavoc wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:38 pm
. . . There's also the idea that you may not want to mix up certain kinds of containers. Hauling certain types of chemicals or cargo's is the norm, but if there was a leak and they combined.. oopsie? Smaller containers make for potentially less cargo damages and easier for load planners to keep some things separate. For anyone interested I found this about segregating and stowing hazardous cargo aboard ships - http://www.shipsbusiness.com/dgcgo.html
. . .
That site has an abundance of information that could be useful for developing more plausible trade models.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby phavoc » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:19 pm

baithammer wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:58 am
phavoc wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:38 pm

Logistically this brings up a valid point - would you have such massive pieces to carry containers (using a standard 10Dton container, cause we all know the Imperium LOVES standardization..
Mongoose 2ed has 32dt and 65 dt containers, the referenced items are modules rather than standardized containers.

Highguard 2ed under Crane.
The crane is strong enough to lift
fully loaded 32 and 65 ton containers and can couple to
most types of pallets or creates.
Yes, I'm thinking of the containers themselves rather than the modules that would carry (or contain) the containers. 10DT is a nice round number for standard cargo transport. It's slighly smaller than the standard 53' container today that is the defacto standard for road and rail traffic. Ship containers are still coming in 40, 48 and 20ft lengths. as it's been said before, 1 TEU is 20ft, and 2 TEU is 40ft. Sucks for the decimal place for TEU with a 48ft container. :)

For smaller transports like free traders and other servicing stations or small colonies, I'd say a 5Dton container, or even a 3Dton container would be seen a lot. Moving the larger ones on small ships is more difficult for storing and unloading and transporting. Much easier to break the cargo into smaller lots, which would also reflect the cargo transport norm for smaller markets.
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Re: Megafreighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:23 pm

That "foot" thing was forgotten a few thousand years ago. TEUs might have been used in the Rule of Man, at least for Terran Navy logistics, but that was before the Long Night. Civilian trade was probably still in Vilani standards, whatever than was.

I think we are free to define new standards. Since small cargoes come in 5 or 10 Dton increments, the standard container should support that. To keep close to the containers we know and love, I use base 2.5 Dt containers.

To be convenient for the 1.5 m square I use just shy of 3 m wide by 3 m high. A 5 Dt double length container is then about 7.5 m or 5 squares long.

32 or 65 Dton containers are obviously much too large to be convenient. I assume that is standard mass of containers and double containers respectively.

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