- Sometimes, they are referred to simply as Merchants, which is technically the term for the crew of the vessel.
- Merchant Vessels include a spectrum of mercantile ships and smallcraft including A-class, M-class, R-class, and T-class conveyances.
- They are typically operated under the aegis and registration of the Trader's Guild, SPA, and/or a polity's merchant marine force. The term marine is often still used despite the fact that interstellar traders ply the vacuum instead of liquid water seas.
- Vessels under military service are classified as I-class Combat Transports or Q-class Military Auxiliaries (Combat Support Ships).
- Sometimes they are the same hulls with only the mission taskings differing. Many a tramp vessel has been pressed into military service when needed.
- The Supraclass designation is also known as Ship Mission, Ship Mission Code, Mission, or Ship Hull Designation.
- It is a starship supraclass.
- 1 Library Data Referral Tree
- 2 Description (Specifications)
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
Library Data Referral Tree
- Starship User Types
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Ships by Function
- Speed of Travel
- Interstellar Commerce
- Business Entities
Merchant ships range in size from small 100 or 200 ton Far and Free Trader class ships to large liners and cargo vessels of up to 10,000 tons displacement or more. The crews of these ships are also referred to as Merchants.
- An early model Beowulf under spaceflight.
- One of the most common subsidized liner types.
- A prototypical Far Trader, the Type A2.
- A Salamander-class coming into a starport to trade.
- A Hercules class Cargo Transport under spaceflight.
- A Corporate class Range Carrier.
- A commercial Endeavor class Ship Transporter mounting two Bluestone class Cargo Barges.
- A huge Mariner class Frame Carrier.
Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space
|Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space: 1105|
|Synopsis||Tramp||Liner||Freighter||Transport & Tanker|
|Hull Tonnage||100 to 2,499 dTons||100 to 2,499 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons or more... |
(...rarely more than 1,000,000) dTons
|Size-Cat||ACS||ACS||BCS & FCS||BCS & FCS (rarely WCS)|
|Ideal Freight Volume||Zero to Low (Hundreds of tons)||Medium (Hundreds to Thousands of tons)||High (Thousands to Tens of Thousands of tons)||Very High (Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of tons)|
|Market||Unscheduled low volume, high speculation trade routes||Mostly scheduled, medium speculation, subsidized trade routes||Scheduled medium and high-volume, low speculation trade routes||Scheduled high volume trade routes with massive economies of scale, or massive (...usually government) projects|
|Rough Market Share||10%||25%||45%||20%|
|Area of Influence||Cluster or Trace+||Subsector+||Sector||Multi-Sector|
|Business||Fledgling Line||Subsector-wide Line & Interface Line||Sector-wide Line||Multi-sector Line|
|Remarks||Merchant Princes & Adventurers||Scheduled & Subsidized Trade||Backbone of Merchant Trade||Corporate Bulk Trade|
|NOTES: While standards exist, ship naming standards evolve with time and over tech epochs. Class naming comments are only generalizations and many exceptions exist. Trade is heavily affected by local regulations, the rule of law, and local security conditions. WCS-class vessels are not ordinarily used for merchant missions as they are too large and expensive.|
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
No information yet available.
Merchant Vessels typically serve the following roles:
- Bulk Cargo Carrier (T)
- Bulk Freighter (T)
- Clipper (RI)
- Far Trader (A)
- Free Trader (A)
- Freighter (M)
- Frontier Merchant (A, M, R, T)
- Liberty Ship (MC)
- Liner (R)
- Merchant (A, M, R, T)
- Merchantman (A, M, R, T)
- Merchant Trader (A, M, R, T)
- Merchant Vessel (A, M, R, T) (Namesake)
- Modular Merchant (A, M, R, T)
- Provincial Merchant (A, M, R, T)
- Speculative Trader (A, M, R, T)
- Tanker (TG)
- Trader (A, M, R, T)
- Trader Craft (A, M, R, T)
- Trader Ship (A, M, R, T)
- Trader Vessel (A, M, R, T)
- Transport (T)
Merchant Ship Types include the following:
|Merchant Supraclass Archetypes|
|Armored Merchant||A, R, M and T||TBD||Any starship used for interstellar trade, and commerce that has been set up with weapon systems for defense.|
|Merchant Liner||R||TBD||Merchant Liners are general-purpose design starships, intended to carry both passengers and freight. They are larger than the Far Traders intended for cargoes over 200 tons and over a dozen passengers|
|Subsidized Merchant||R||TBD||In subsidized commerce, a local government (or a group of several worlds) agree to subsidize the construction of commercial starships in return for their servicing established routes. Ideally, the route will be profitable, and the subsidy can soon be ended. But, even without profits, the route provides a channel for interstellar trade, helping to provide markets for resources and finished goods as well as, enabling people from different world to share their cultures.
Typically, governments expect subsidized merchants to try to establish routes to make at least marginal profits to diminish the government expense burden. Although individual ports of call may not always provide sales at high margins, at least initially, the ultimate goal is to make the ship self-sufficient. Unfortunately all subsidized merchants are not all profitable and these ships may be recipients of government subsidies for years. Governments have to factor in the benefits derived from the established routes against the costs of maintaining the subsidy. This often becomes the deciding factor with somewhat isolated worlds with limited markets.
|Far Trader||A2||TBD||A Far Trader is a small starship commonly used for interstellar trade and commerce that is capable of jump 2. Hundreds of variants exist. The typical size equals 200 tons.|
|Free Trader||A1||TBD||A Free Trader is a small starship commonly used for interstellar trade and commerce that is capable of jump 1. Hundreds of variants exist. The typical size equals 200 tons.|
|Frontier Trader||A or R||TBD||A heavily armed transport normally doing business with fringe systems.|
|Merchant Cruiser||A, M, R, or T||TBD||A generic term applied to vessels specifically assigned to independent missions, the prime objective of which is market discovery and acquisition, either in isolation or in completion with other merchant operators. Design parameters for such vessels usually include a high level of weaponry and auxiliary boats in proportion to their cargo capacity and all possible back-up systems, along with high structural integrity.
Also called an Armed Merchantman, as merchant cruisers are unusally armed. A starship merchant primarily intended for independent cruising in undeveloped trade areas where high survivability is also a design factor.
No information yet available.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type A class Free Trader (Type A1)
- Alexandria class Free Trader
- Basil class Merchant
- Beowulf class Free Trader
- Bremen class Caravel
- Carrack class Tramp Liner
- Coriander class Free Trader
- Lune class Freelancer
- March Harrier class Free Trader
- Moraine class Free Trader
- Regni Yards Type A class Free Trader
- Tequila class Free Trader
- Type A1 class Free Trader
- Type A-J2 class Free Trader
- Type A-P class Free Trader
- Type TC(S) class Free Trader
- Type A2 class Far Trader
- Akkigish class Far Trader
- Akkigish class Subsidized Merchant
- April Hare class Far Trader
- Avian class Far Trader
- Empress Marava class Far Trader
- Fanzhienz class Far Trader
- Farrou class Far Trader
- Garu class Far Trader
- Gizicih class General Trader
- Hero class Far Trader
- Hnneshant class Trade Boat
- Hugin class Trader
- Jayhawk class Far Trader
- Khershawn class Trader
- Maru class Merchant
- Nymph class Merchant
- Prince Ferren class Far Trader
- Princess Gunnhilde class Far Trader
- Salamander class Far Trader
- Soho class Light Freighter
- Stage class Far Trader
- Treader class Free Trader
- Type A2L class Far Trader
- Type HR class Trader
- Type VA class Trader
- Wulf class Free Trader
- Type A3 class Fast Trader
- Type AA class Armored Merchant
- Type AH class Heavy Trader
- Type AL class Light Trader
- Anjou class Freighter
- Aoa'iw class Light Trader
- Burning Sky class Merchant Schooner
- Consul class Provincial Trader
- Fortune class Merchant
- Garuda class Modular Systems Vessel
- Iguna class Trader
- Joshim P. Stone class Provincial Trader
- Liz Zhorka class Light Trader
- Manta class Small Merchant
- Panga class Merchant
- Paya class Light Freighter
- Rhapsody class Merchant Trader
- Tachyon class Light Trader
- Unholy Exile class Trader
- Type AM class Medium Trader
- Type MC class Cargo Freighter
- Type MH class Heavy Freighter
- No exemplar of this superclass yet available.
- Type ML class Light Freighter
- Type MP class Passenger Freighter
- Gaia class Luxury Liner
- Horizon class Passenger Freighter
- Jelmirt Marquis class High Liner
- King Richard class Interstellar Liner
- Last Armada class Personnel Transport
- Nebula class Starliner
- Olympian class Cruise Liner
- Royal class Interstellar Liner
- Sapphire Moon class Moduleship
- Shuvalivashtu class Luxury Liner
- Clii Argu class Common Transport (Type TC class Common Transport)
- Type R class Luxury Liner
- Animal class Liner
- Astral Splendour class Luxury Liner
- Brilliant Gem class Cruise Liner
- Celestial Star class Liner
- Codori Prime class Luxury Liner
- Olympian class Cruise Liner
- Horizon class Passenger Liner
- Independence of the Stars class Liner
- King Richard class Interstellar Liner
- Royal class Liner
- Shianjo class Liner
- Stellar class Liner
- World class Luxury Liner
- Type RT class Longliner
- Type RC class Cargo Liner
- Anhk class Merchant
- Bastien class Merchant Liner
- Bloodwell class Merchant
- Caccil class Merchant
- Dakaar class Merchant Transport
- Bluestone class Cargo Barge
- Garrett Durant class Cargo Hauler
- Hercules class Cargo Transport
- Jose Cadiz Royal Galleon class Cargo Carrier
- Vespir class Large Freighter
- Xeekr'kir! class Merchant
- Type RM class Merchant Liner
- Type R class Subsidized Merchant AKA Fat Trader AKA Subsidized Merchant
- Type R2 class Subsidized Merchant
- Type RAX class Protected Merchant
- Type RL class Subsidized Merchant
- Type RL2 class Subsidized Merchant
- Type RQ class Subsidized Merchant
- Type RX class Merchant Trader
Ship Summary List
|88 Representative Tramp Vessel (A) Classes|
|28 Representative Freighter (M) Classes|
|70 Representative Liner (R) Classes|
|45 Representative Transport or Tanker (T) Classes|
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- Marc Miller. Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium (Game Designers Workshop, 1990), .
- Frank Chadwick, Dave Nilsen. Traveller: The New Era (Game Designers Workshop, 1993), 374.
- Subsidized Merchant Deck Plans Seeker Gaming Systems: Subsidized Merchant
- Type A2 Far Trader Deck Plans Seeker Gaming Systems: Empress Marava
- Garu class Type A2 Far Trader The Flaming Eye
- Garu class Type A2 Far Trader MegaTraveller Journal 4
- Soho class Light Freighter Traveller Chronicle 13
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science