- Transports ideally carry high thousands to tens of thousands of cargo including bulk cargo, project cargo, and very large, heavy, or bulky items that smaller liners or freighters could not, such as turbine parts, large scale fusion power plants, or even ship hulls.
- Tankers carry vast amounts of fuels or other high value liquids...
- Bulk Cargo Carriers, Grain Haulers, Ore Haulers, Tankers, Ship Transporters, and a variety of other subclasses with varied missions comprise this grouping although the bulk cargo carrier is the best known.
- The same hulls under dedicated military service are known as Q-class Combat Support Ships and I-class Combat Transports. I-class vessels are hardened and often armored for hostile conditions.
- The Supraclass designation is also known as Ship Mission, Ship Mission Code, Mission, or Ship Hull Designation.
- It is a starship supraclass.
Library Data Referral Tree
- Starship User Types
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Ships by Function
- Speed of Travel
Transports and tankers are the really large cargo ships built to conduct corporate bulk trade. They are expensive ships and often come equipped with light armament and significant defensive suites. Convoys and escorts are common. Almost all bulk trade is scheduled, profitable, and integral to an established interstellar, economic network. Some larger ships weigh hundreds of thousands of tons in displacement. Few are streamlined or designed to enter an atmosphere. Most make use of highports and extensively employ interface craft. High population, rich nexus worlds, and capitals are their most common destinations. 
- A Jack Driscoll class Bulk Freighter.
- An Empress class Bulk Carrier.
- An Aspirant class Provincial Carrier.
- A Connestoga class Heavy Carrier.
- A Hercules class Commercial Tender.
- A Pegasus class Bulk Cargo Carrier.
- A side view of a blocky Suluru class Mercantile Carrier.
- This is a side view and a top view of a smaller layout of the modular ship known as the Roca Maestro class Modular Ore Hauler.
- A Corporate class Range Carrier.
- A huge Mariner class Frame Carrier.
- A commercial Endeavor class Ship Transporter mounting two Bluestone class Cargo Barges.
- A J-2 High Liner class Bulk Freighter transporting a pair of Elysium class Passenger Barges.
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)
Transports form the economic backbone that enables any sizable polity to exist. If there is one supraclass that can be said to be the single most vital to any such polity, this is it. The Third Imperium could, in theory under hypothetical optimal conditions, continue to exist without warships, scout vessels, x-boats (...communications being handled by transports instead), and all other types - but it can not exist without transports hauling freight (...and sometimes passengers) from world to world. 
One reason is that many colonies can not survive without continued import of vital goods. During the Long Night and Collapse, when conditions (...whether destruction of or damage to transports, loss of availability of maintenance, disruption of cargo availability, destabilization of currency, or any of a number of other factors) meant that transports stopped coming, many colonies were unable to support themselves. Nonagricultural worlds ran out of food, many agricultural worlds ran out of spare parts to run their farms (...or the machines that kept their land arable), and many worlds with tainted or exotic atmospheres ran out of spare parts for the machines that kept their air breathable. Lucky survivors found their way to other worlds that could sustain themselves; the rest died. Only with the return of regular freight service could these colonies be successfully re-established. 
Size-Class Roles for Transport Vessels
- Utility Craft (U) (1 to 99 tons)
- Tramp Vessel or Liner (A or R) (100 to 2,499 tons)
- Light Transport (TL) (2,500 to 99,999 tons)
- Medium Transport (TM) (100,000 to 249,999 tons)
- Heavy Transport (TH) (250,000 to 499,999 tons)
- Superheavy Transport (TS) (500,000 to 999,999 tons)
- Ultraheavy Transport (TU) (1,000,000 or more tons)
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|T-class Transport Supraclass Archetypes|
|Transport||T (Namesake)||Oukhaha class Bulk Hauler||Transporters are a generic class of large tonnage cargo transport vessels. There are numerous subclasses, but all carry large amounts of cargo freight, often in bulk forms.
|Bulk Cargo Carrier||TC||Empress class Bulk Carrier||Bulk cargo haulers focus on transporting containerized freight. They often operate over well known, long establish routes. They are often contracted directly to companies with most or all their capacity used for moving that company's products. The primary way they differ from other transports is that they deal with large cargo containers. These containers are connected to an external framework, which provides atmosphere and power, and allows access by crew members. There are usually discounts for modules without power and/or atmosphere requirements.
|Grain Hauler||TCG||Average Cargo Ship class Cargo Ship||Another bulk cargo hauler for agricultural products. These cargoes can not exposed to vacuum or temperature extremes, so the hold is sealed, and subject to strict environmental standards. The holds are normally not suitable for passengers or crew due to the temperature, atmospheric mix, or pressure conditions needed to keep the agricultural products as fresh as possible. Grain is merely one of the most common cargoes these ships carry; anything that requires a pressurized, environmentally-controlled container may be carried by this type.
|Ore Hauler||TCO||Roca Maestro class Modular Ore Hauler||A specialized bulk cargo hauler for raw or processed ore. To qualify as this type, at least half of the cargo may be exposed to vacuum and/or suffer temperature extremes (and is not necessarily liquid or gas, nor in detachable cargo containers), though some ore haulers have a small pressurized hold for more valuable cargoes.
|Tanker||TF||Regent class Station Tanker||Tankers are specially designed to haul cargoes of either liquid or gas. Many are specially designed and can not take alternate types of cargo. For example, a hydrogen carrier can not normally be used to transport ammonia. There are some specialized tankers where entire storage modules are swapped out, not unlike bulk cargo carriers, but these are more the exception than the rule.
|Heavy Transport||TH||Gargantuan class Heavy Transport||Heavy Transports are a size-displacement category that includes transport vessels between 250,000 to 499,999 tons in displacement.
|Jump Ship||TJ||Brown class Jump Ship||Jump Ships operate like commercial tenders or ship transporters and are specialized to carry irregular shaped loads or very large cargos. Some work as jump shuttles and attach to other non-jump-capable vessels while others latch onto other vessels and create a truly enormous jump bubble. They are not always the most economic option, but when needed, there is no other substitute. They are also known as Jump Shuttles or Combat Support Tenders among other terms, depending on their use or application. This category covers civilian applications of the technology.|
|Light Transport||TL||Refugee Pilgrim class Transport||Light Transports are a size-displacement category that includes transport vessels between 2,500 to 99,999 tons in displacement.
|Medium Transport||TM||Caccil class Merchant||Medium Transports are a size-displacement category that includes transport vessels between 100,000 to 249,999 tons in displacement.
|Super Heavy Transport||TS||Three Sisters class Heavy Jump Transport||Super Heavy Transports are a size-displacement category that includes transport vessels between 500,000 to 999,999 tons in displacement.
|Ship Transporter / Commercial Tender||TV||Mariner class Frame Carrier||Ship Transporters are similar to carriers and tenders, but instead of military subcraft, they carry civilian subcraft. The concept is similar to the battle rider concept, except in a civilian application. The class also includes various kinds of jump ships or jump trains, specialized to carry variable cargos, or as jump shuttles.|
|NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.|
Transporters and tankers have carried a stable fifth of the interstellar shipping economy for several thousand years, only broken by periods of unrest, war, and anarchy such as the Long Night. Naval architecture has grown quite sophisticated over the many years of civilization within Charted Space. All sorts of technologies have been used and developed with these craft where significant economies of scale can be exploited and experimented with. 
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type TC class Bulk Cargo Carrier
- Aspirant class Provincial Carrier
- Chtierabl class Transport
- Connestoga class Heavy Carrier
- Conveyor class Heavy Freighter
- Empress class Bulk Carrier
- Fat Jack class Bulk Freighter
- Goliath class Provincial Freighter
- Hercules class Commercial Tender
- Jack Driscoll class Bulk Freighter
- Kobe class Bulk Carrier
- Last Armada class Heavy Transport
- Pegasus class Bulk Cargo Carrier
- Port of Nickle Eugenia class Bulk Container Vessel
- Reynolds Meyers Briggs class Heavy Merchant
- Sao class Heavy Merchant
- Suluru class Mercantile Carrier
- Type TCO class Ore Hauler
- Type TCG class Grain Hauler
- Type TF class Tanker
- Type TH class Heavy Transport
- Type TJ class Jump Ship
- Type TL class Light Transport
- Type TM class Medium Transport
- Type TS class Super Transport
- Type TV class Ship Transporter
- Brilliant Gem class Cruise Liner
- Brown class Jump Ship
- Brutus class Ship Transporter
- Corporate class Range Carrier
- Endeavor class Ship Transporter
- High Liner class Bulk Freighter
- Mariner class Frame Carrier
- Marius class Ship Transporter
- Orowani Deep Space class Commercial Tender
- Sagacity class Bulk Freighter
- Type JS class Jump Ship
Ship Summary List
Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role or these roles include:
|46 Representative Transport (T) Classes|
|17 Representative Bulk Cargo Carrier (TC) Classes|
|1 Representative Grain Hauler (TCG) Classes|
|1 Representative Ore Hauler (TCO) Classes|
|10 Representative Tanker (TF) Classes|
|1 Representative Heavy Transport (TH) Classes|
|2 Representative Jump Ship Transport (TJ) Classes|
|2 Representative Light Transport (TL) Classes|
|3 Representative Medium Transport (TM) Classes|
|1 Representative Superheavy Transport (TS) Classes|
|10 Representative Jump Shuttle / Ship Transporter (TV) Classes|