- A cargo-carrying trade vessel smaller than 2,500 tons is considered an ACS RC-class Cargo Liner, not an M-class Freighter. Freighters concentrate on larger, higher volume markets than smaller haulers such as the majority of speculative A-class Free Traders and R-class Subsidized Merchants.
- 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
Medium-haul M-class Freighters transport nearly half of trade goods, resources, and other tradable materials within Charted Space. Such craft don't receive the same attention as the massive T-class Bulk Cargo Transports nor the smaller A-class Free Traders and R-class Far Traders, but they should since they are the unsung heroes of interstellar trade. They typically haul thousands to tens of thousands of tons of goods between ports of call.
- A Hercules class Cargo Transport under spaceflight.
- No image yet available.
- A Freespace Gateway class Freighter under spaceflight.
- A Sirocco class Merchant Freighter in side view.
- An ODS class Light Liner, a converted military transport used as part of the Orowani Deep Space Fuel Cache.
- No image yet available.
- Two Clii Argu class Common Transports under civilian use as merchant vessels heading for a highport.
- A Sapphire Moon class Moduleship cruising through system space approaching a safari destination.
- A majestic Gaia class Luxury Liner.
- A Horizon class Passenger Freighter in side view.
- An Olympian class Cruise Liner in a side view schematic.
- No image yet available.
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)
Freighters are merchant vessels, not combatants. Like most civilian ships, flight is the best response to piracy, terrorism, or other forms of hostile aggression. Freighters are enough of an investment that escort vessels often accompany convoys of trade vessels.
|M-class Freighter Supraclass Archetypes|
|Modular Cargo Ship||(MC)|
|Multi-purpose Cargo Ship||(MC)|
Size-Class Roles for Freighter Vessels
- Utility Craft (U) (1 to 99 tons)
- Tramp Vessel or Liner (A or R) (100 to 2,499 tons)
- Light Freighter (ML) (2,500 to 99,999 tons)
- Medium Freighter (MM) (100,000 to 249,999 tons)
- Heavy Freighter (MH) (250,000 to 499,999 tons)
- Superheavy Freighter (MS) (500,000 to 999,999 tons)
- Ultraheavy Freighter (MU) (1,000,000 or more tons)
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|M-class Freighter Supraclass Archetypes|
|Freighter||M||Freespace Gateway class Freighter||Freighters are generic merchant Merchant vessels comprise the bulk of trade vessels and often more than half of any astrographic region's total trade tonnage. The conservative estimate is that M-class Freighters carry at least 40% of interstellar trade.
|Cargo Freighter||MC||Hercules class Cargo Transport||Cargo freighters usually focus on subsector or multi-subsector trade. Many don't bother with refueling scoops since they often carry a fuel lighter or refueling shuttle. Many carry their own loading and unloading equipment to serve underdeveloped starports rather than use expensive interface services or highports.
They carry trade goods across the stars frequently transporting thousands to ten thousands tons of salable merchandise or resources. Most are equipped with fuel scoops and fuel purification plants for long hauls. They often perform sector or even multisector trade. Many are unstreamlined cluster hulled craft that must use interface services and highports. They typically rely on loading and unloading services rather than carry their own and serve better developed, richer starports.
|Provincial Freighter||MF||Star*mart class Provincial Merchant||Provincial Freighters ply the medium value star lanes trading goods, and often covering the gap between free and far traders and the bigger bulk traders. Some of these vessels actually function as mobile retail fronts, landing, and opening up shop like nomadic merchants. Others participate in more conventional trade.
|Heavy Freighter||MH||No exemplar yet available.||MH-class heavy freighters weigh in between 250,000 to 499,999 tons in displacement and while focused on a smaller market than many T-class transports, they are still potent, heavy haulers. Most depend on convoys and escorts to resist piracy and interstellar marauders.
|Light Freighter||ML||Garrett Durant class Cargo Hauler||ML-class light freighters weigh in between 2,500 to 99,999 tons at he lower end of the BCS category. While they are light compared to larger bulk carriers, they can still be massive starships, and when their hardpoints are filled with defensive weapons, they wield considerable firepower. Most are optimized to carry heavy modular container cargos across vast interstellar distances of many, many parsecs.
|Medium Freighter||MM||Hellworld class Merchant Cruiser||MM-class medium freighters weigh in between 100,000 to 249,999 tons in displacement and are often used to carry special bulk cargos of massive resources such as mineral components, massive wood sources, starship hulls, power plant parts, and the like. They are only medium in name and many push the top end of the BCS category.
|Passenger Freighter||MP||Royal class Interstellar Liner||Passenger freighters or Interstellar liners are large, frequently luxurious passenger carriers equipped to carry the influential and wealthy across the star lanes.
NOTE: Long-range luxury passenger liners are generally called Interstellar Liners as opposed to the less luxurious, more utilitarian RP-class passenger liners. Passenger freighters are generally larger than RP-class passenger liners.
|Luxury Freighter||MPL||King Richard class Interstellar Liner||Luxury Freighters are what the public calls luxury liners or cruise liners. While smaller versions exist in the ACS range, the larger vessels are technically known as Luxury Passenger Freighters even if this term mostly appears on official documents. They are large and often equipped with a plethora of amenities.
|Superheavy Freighter||MS||Mavuzo class Super Freighter||MS-class superheavy freighters weigh in between 500,000 to 999,999 tons and are larger than many warships. When a superheavy comes into port, it has the potential to transform markets and inspire cargo cults on smaller worlds. Such massive mercantile starships almost always have a significant convoy of potent escorts.
|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.|
No information yet available.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- 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)
Ship Summary List
Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role or these roles include:
|28 Representative Freighter (M) Classes|
|8 Representative Cargo Freighter (MC) Classes|
|2 Representative Provincial Freighter (MF) Classes|
|0 Representative Heavy Freighter (MH) Classes|
|5 Representative Light Freighter (ML) Classes|
|1 Representative Medium Freighter (MM) Classes|
|11 Representative Passenger Freighter (MP) Classes|
|6 Representative Luxury Passenger Freighter (MPL) Classes|
|1 Representative Superheavy Freighter (MS) Classes|
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