Eclipse Phase | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2015-2019 A.D.
Merchant ships are the most inexpensive manner of transporting cargo between the planets of the Solar System, but are not the most numerous or timely. Cargo vessels ranging from the smaller haulers to large cargo vessels are also common throughout the Solar System. They can carry virtually any type of cargo between the planets, moons, stations, and colony cylinders. The transport of cargo in Jovian aerospace is often reserved for government use, and is fairly expensive for all but the most time-sensitive commercial cargoes. Time-sensitive transportation between other points in the Solar System is normally reserved for optimum orbits and commands the maximum price for services rendered.
Since mass is the all-important arbiter of the cost to move anything around the Solar System, cargo other than passenger travel is based on a per-kilogram formula. The average cost per kilogram for cargo is equal to the square root of the distance between two points in millions of kilometers. This rate is subject to a Cargo Transit Multiplier based upon the type of cargo. Because of the slower transit speed of Merchant ships, a final Multiplier of 0.75 is applied.
Gas: Gases are stored in pressurized containers at twenty to thirty atmospheres pressure. A double-hull design with self-sealing membranes ensures that any punctures don’t result in catastrophic loss of the gas. Liquid: Liquids, or liquefied gases, require transportation containers with internal bulkheads to prevent ruptures from shifting loads. The bulkheads are also self-sealing to prevent the loss of liquid if the container is punctured. Loading a liquid container simply requires pumping the liquid into the container. Unloading is accomplished by spinning the container, using centrifugal force and dry inert gas to push the liquid out. Bulk Any cargo that has solid form and can be put in a box is classified as bulk cargo. Bulk cargo can range from raw and refined mineral resources to manufactured products of all shapes and sizes.
Secure: Secure cargo is any of the previous cargo types stored in a secured manner. Security can range from special locked and armored containers to various self-destruct mechanisms. In any case, the additional expense per kilogram includes monitoring, the extra weight of the security equipment, and any security personnel required.
Specialty: Specialty cargoes are variations on the three basic cargo types that have unique requirements for transportation. Anything that requires special handling, monitoring, or environmental conditions is classed as specialty cargo. Livestock and artworks are the most commonly-seen specialty cargoes.
Cargo Transit Multiplier
|Cargo Type||Cargo Transit Multiplier|
|Secure||x0.5 to x2.0|
|Specialty||x0.5 to x3.0|