Passage and Freight Costs table

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
RogerMc
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby RogerMc » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:11 pm

Not as simple as that as every increase in jump drive requires not just an increase in power plant but in fuel carried - and thus a reduction in available space for cargo and revenues.

Alternatively make it a +50% increase per jump - so 1000, 1500, 2250, 3375 etc.

Or apply logical supply and demand modifiers based on both starting and destination world characteristics as well as distance.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:57 pm

RogerMc wrote: Not as simple as that as every increase in jump drive requires not just an increase in power plant but in fuel carried - and thus a reduction in available space for cargo and revenues.
Quite, but most secondary effects are small, basically the jump drive cost money and the fuel cost space. Either way going from J-1 to J-2, cost far from twice the money nor half the payload.

RogerMc wrote: Alternatively make it a +50% increase per jump - so 1000, 1500, 2250, 3375 etc.
That sounds better. Probably still very good for J-2 and J-3 ships?
Sigtrygg
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:37 pm

What if the trade lanes are filled with ships belonging to megacorporation who don't have to pay mortgages on their ships, they buy them outright out of the previous years profits?

If all you have to cover are crew, life support fuel and maintenance costs then your passenger ticket prices and freight prices can be per jump regardless of distance.
You are making most of your profit from the hold full of manufactured goods that you are going to sell for a massive mark up. Megacorporations own resource production, manufacture and transport. Providing they are making a profit from the triangle then they can afford to price fix to keep upstart small independent traders from trying to muscle in.

The trade rules etc were designed for a game where PCs were likely to start with jump 1 merchant - get lucky and make enough to buy off your ship mortgage and you can then invest in full on speculative trade. Make the most from that and you will be buying your next ship for cash. Once you have several jump 1 ships speculatively making money you can think about the jump 2 or jump 3 trade, or even build a 'yacht' for carrying you from adventure to adventure.
Condottiere
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby Condottiere » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:42 pm

You could charter ships.

That would make them independent contractors.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:46 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: What if the trade lanes are filled with ships belonging to megacorporation who don't have to pay mortgages on their ships, they buy them outright out of the previous years profits?
Just because you finance the ship differently does not magically remove capital costs.

The megacorp has to explain to the shareholders why it's more profitable for them to let the megacorp buy ships, rather than pay out the money as dividends. Once they have persuaded the shareholders to let them keep the money, the megacorp have to persuade the shareholders its more profitable to buy ships than to simply lend the money at risk free interest.

The internal interest rate for tying up the corps own money is generally greater than a reasonable interest on borrowed money, hence large corps prefer to finance with borrowed money rather than tying up the shareholders capital. The borrowing might take the shape of issuing bonds by the billion, rather than individual mortgages on ships, but they still have to pay capital costs comparable to a mortgage.

TLDR: Everyone pays capital costs comparable to the mortgage, it's not an avoidable cost.
arcador
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby arcador » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:11 am

Maybe we can muster a more balanced table? It will never be perfect - some ship designs will be better, but it might be with less strange deviations.

From the top of my head - calculate costs for an optimized ship for specific kind of transport - (freighter or liner) with sizes from 100 to ... ? and see what is the minimum cost. It can be some sort of a baseline.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:52 am

Your shipbuilding costs are taken from the profit from resource production and goods manufacture. You still have transport costs to get the goods to market so you can either pay for shipping as freight or build your own ships at cost price, not mortgage.

How much does the mortgage cost over the life of the ship loan?

Megacorporation banks underwrite ship mortgages, they do not charge themselves.
Condottiere
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby Condottiere » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:06 am

It's the cost of money.

Usually defined by interest rates and taxation laws.

Let's take Apple, that preferred to borrow money to pay off their shareholders and/or acquire firms, possibly pay their bills, rather than repatriate their overseas cash mountain.

If your mortgage and paying off interest rates can be used as a tax write off, you might as well let your money accumulate interest at a bank, or some other investment with anything from a safe to a great return on investment.

Michael Dell took his company private again, not sure if he regrets that now, in order to control long term company policy and remove the need to maximize shareholder value.

It's one reason I like designing the cheapest possible spaceships, because once you establish the required minimum performance, the rest tends to be a luxury.
phavoc
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby phavoc » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:24 pm

Apple sold bones to pay dividends because the interest rates were ridiculously low (I think they offered less than 5%, unheard of cheap corporate bonds). Bringing g cash back would have cost them more money due to the tax they would habe had to pay.

They invest some if that money in other companies bonds, but much remains in cash or very liquid investments like t-bills. There is a risk cost to doing that just like every other thing.

Dell went private for a variety of reasons, one being the pressure from the Street to show corporate profit every quarter. Dell wanted to play a longer game, so he didn't like that. Plus he wanted to fundamentally change his business model. IT services has a low margin, especially when you can't offshore your work like the Indian IT companies do. He thought the EMC merge was the way to go, and services and hardware where no longer what he was interested in having in his company. They also spun off his security firm. It's too early to tell to see if this was the best decision. Though I've read there are rumblings of an IPO wirh the new DellEMC company. His private equity partners want their profits and aren't the type to go for the long haul.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:42 pm

arcador wrote: From the top of my head - calculate costs for an optimized ship for specific kind of transport - (freighter or liner) with sizes from 100 to ... ? and see what is the minimum cost. It can be some sort of a baseline.
This is what Aramis has already done, if I understand correctly.

Like him we will make assumptions, that will be built into the tables, and then someone will find loopholes.


The standard tables are meant for Free Traders in backwaters, not major traderoutes, so the tables should not be built for large ships?
arcador
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby arcador » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:11 pm

Yes, we might end with the same case, but with different numbers.

How can we limit the tables based on ship/cargo size?
Condottiere
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby Condottiere » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:21 pm

On the assumption, rates are fixed, the next step are incentives.

There's better service, and possibly free insurance on board; possibly pick up and delivery.

You could hire Hooter waitresses.

Image
phavoc
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby phavoc » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:24 pm

One way to address the problem is to acknowledge there will be differences. Regular freight (i.e. containerized types) will basically have a flat rate per container/dton. Bulk items, like grain and such will receive the lowest rates since they are relatively time insensitive. High tech, luxury or high value goods would receive a premium. Goods that are hazardous might also receive a higher premium since they are dangerous (radioactives, corrosive gases). So a price chart might look like:

Bulk goods: -10% price from standard
Standard: no discount or premium
Premium: +10% from standard

Other things to consider would be how much babysitting the cargo requires. For example, transporting a small herd of quadrapeds from one system to the next could require a premium since live animals need more care and handling. Delivery not to the main port but a smaller, out of the way port, might be a reason to charge more since it's less likely to find another cargo at a smaller world than the main system starport. Also, a rush job such as an immediate pickup and delivery could require a surcharge. Reference tables are great since both players and referee's can consult them to get a understanding of what to expect. Plus they are even more greater for a lazy ref to fall back on when they are busy fleshing out other parts of their gaming universe and don't want to have to deal with this.

Passengers would be treated the same way, with the exception that there needs to be even more variance. To go along with this there needs to be more variables related to cabins as well. Steerage in the future is essentially 4 people in one room - but it's far more comfortable than what steerage used to be in the 1900s. Along with that are the different types of cabins that the rich will pay big credits for. The most expensive suites on a ship are pretty damn big, and the charge for them is just as big. However the game has only ever postulated the same size room for every ship. That's not at all realistic, especially now that we see airliners with apartments on board them, let alone what ships have had in the way of cabins over the last 150 years. Size will vary, depending on the need and use, but costs need to be standardized for designs:

Basic stateroom – Cr75,000/ton. They are basic and functional. Applicable for low passage, military bunkrooms, prison transport. Depending on the purpose, the number of personnel that may be included per room varies (i.e. low or military transports may house 1 per dton, while prison transports may house 2 per dton in more cramped accommodations. Life support would be sufficient and livable, though not terribly pleasant.
Standard stateroom – Cr125,000/ton. The ‘standard’ for Traveller staterooms. Suitable for crew, middle passage transport.
Luxurious – Cr175,000/ton. Suitable for officers, 1st class passengers, standard for low end yachts, corporate transports or poor nobles.
Opulent – Cr250,000/ton. Suitable for high end yachts, rich nobles, flag rank officers, high-end corporate transports, very wealthy.

Somewhere I've got a chart showing costs per transit. I'm still waffling on whether to make it per parsec, or per jump. The goal is to keep it simple, but also recognize both costs and profit margin.
steve98052
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby steve98052 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:36 am

I've been trying to work out the rates a major line would need to charge to break even, designing a 100 room liner and a 600 dton capacity freighter, both in the same 980 dton hull. Then I'm working out their costs for every size of jump. I'll treat those as a base rate.
arcador
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby arcador » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:18 am

If possible, please share your designs and analysis!
steve98052
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby steve98052 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:14 pm

arcador wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:18 am
If possible, please share your designs and analysis!
The designs are meant for my first DrivethruRPG product, but I'll post the analysis here, and maybe hints of the designs.

I chose the size, just under 1000 dtons, for a couple of reasons.
- It's large enough to gain most of the economies of scale that would be found in a huge vessel, but still small enough to be found on any reasonably busy route.
- Ships of 1000 dtons and above are (according to some sources), counted as "large" ships, requiring large ship crews, so by aiming just under that size, I can avoid a few extra crew jobs that would be necessary in the cargo version. The passenger version has considerably more passenger-facing crew than the minimum, which makes up for running some of the ships light on jump crew.

(I started this message yesterday, but got pulled aside before I finished it. If I had more to say, I've forgotten it.)
arcador
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby arcador » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:46 pm

I don't want to compromise your product, so share only what you feel is safe. I am interested in the % realted to costs/gains.
steve98052
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Re: Passage and Freight Costs table

Postby steve98052 » Tue May 01, 2018 9:39 pm

I'm not going to get too proprietary about it. I'll probably give it a pay what you like price, assuming I finish it. I bought a Blender book so I make cooler illustrations, but I might just make do with Inkscape deck plans.

The other value added that I have in mind is mini-adventures. What fun things can happen on a long trip aboard a luxury liner? (Obviously, things like murder mysteries can happen, but I'm not sure I know how to write one, so I'd look for other plots.) What kind of things can happen aboard a luxury liner if the player characters are crew of the liner? What might happen if the player characters have the job of tending a special cargo in the few, spartan passenger spaces aboard the cargo version of these ships?

When it comes down to the general economics of a moderate sized cargo or luxury passenger liner, it's just a table where I (kind of) show my work. No sense charging for that, or even bothering people with the effort of downloading a free DrivethruRPG.

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