Once worlds are deemed worthy for an outpost or colonies, transport ships come into play. The needs of a world can vary greatly from the very beginning to its steady growth and progression. One big issue until a population is large enough and has the resources, facilities and labor pool specific to the ability for creating and maintaining a highport is planetside interface. The not obvious method are ships that can naturally access a downport. Especially for outposts and small population colonies, downports will also be less than major traffic hubs for decades. One solution is a ship with diversity. External cargo mounts have a few disadvantages as they can't be reattached once released, planetside travel is dangerous and there's no access to the cargo if necessary. ECMs are best used with orbital facilities. The other option is a versatile modular ship able to carry a wide variety of units for many needs. As many worlds might not have the capacity for an interface craft, the ship itself carries one. The Bulk Modular Freighter beside carrying modular units also has staterooms for small numbers of travellers making their way between locations. As with other people movers during this time period, the majority of people use low berth for cost effective transport. The ship is built cost effective too using a light, dispersed, non-gravity design. It also features enough fuel to not need a fuel source at the destination and can return shortly after transfers are achieved.
TL 9 Bulk Modular Freighter 1000 tons MCr. 110.405
Hull Non-gravity, Light, Dispersed No armor
Jump 1. Maneuver 1g. TL 8 Fusion power plant (310 power), Fuel - 2 x Jump 1 and 8 weeks standard operation.
Standard bridge. Computer/5 with Maneuver/0, Library and Jump Control/1. Sensors - Civilian.
Weapons - none.
28 x Staterooms (Pilot, Astrogator, Engineer x2, Maintenance, Medic, Steward, interface pilot, Passengers x 20).
Options: Docking clamp type II, 70 ton Interface craft, Medical bay, Workshop, 50 ton modules x 10.
Cargo 4.8 tons (Mostly passenger baggage and mail deliveries)
Interface craft 70 tons MCr.5.543
Hull Non-gravity, Streamlined, Light No armor
Maneuver 1g. TL 8 Fusion power plant (22 power). Fuel - 36 weeks operation
Standard bridge. Computer/5 with Maneuver/0 and Library Sensors- Basic
Weapons - none
Cargo - 4.45
Options - 50 ton modular space, Acceleration benches x 5 (20 passengers), Aerofins
The modules fit in the ventral space of the craft and can be set in place planetside as the craft hovers. The reverse for picking up modules at groundside.
Two typical modules are the Cargo module for bulk transport of goods. They are also structured for habitation modification. The People Mover module carries 90 persons in low berths using an independent fusion power plant plus an emergency backup power source with 40 weeks of fuel and 3 tons cargo space for sundries. Other modules vary widely such as self contained research stations, small mining facilities and prebuilt habitats.