Freighters 101

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This is a deprecated class syllabus, intended as historical record for the teaching department.

Creating syllabi is no longer our process for new classes, and no classes in the syllabus library are considered current. They are here for historical purposes only, as well as an optional starting point for designing new classes. Please do not assume any of the classes you find here have slides, or have even been taught for many years. If you do use information in a syllabus, ensure that you have brought it up to date with contemporary EVE.

Providence, the Amarr freighter

Class Information

This chapter contains the standard information of this class pertaining to scheduling and class contents. The general information should be sufficient to create a proper class topic for scheduling on the Eve University forums. Additional information relevant to the teacher is listed under Notes for the teacher.

General information

Image for forum posting: truck3.jpg

The EVE economy is dynamic and largely player-run. As a result, there will be cargo that needs to be moved from one station to another for trading, PVP, PVE or a player is moving from one system to another are some of the examples.

In this class, you'll learn how to haul goods in EVE, safely and profitably.

  • Duration: 01:00
  • Location: Docked up safely in a station

Class contents:

  • What is Hauling
  • Establishing a freighter character or alt
  • Overview of Freighters
  • Essential Freighter skills and equipment
  • Capital requirements for Freighter Hauling
  • Freighter Survivability
  • Advanced hauling topics
  • Practical with the contract window
  • Q&A


Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: Mumble
  • Access to the Lecture.E-UNI in-game chat channel


Additional information: This class is primarily lecture, and a quick practical, followed by Q&A.

Notes for the teacher

Required materials:

  • Lecture.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • Useful links to have open during this class:

While this syllabus is fairly detailed, teachers should not just recite this document. Make sure to read it thoroughly, use its structure as a guide for the structure of your class, but make it your own - feel free to insert your own insights and experiences as you cover the key points.

Class contents

Introduction

Charon, the Caldari freighter

Welcome to this class on Freighter 101! Over the next hour or so, we shall review what it takes to establish a freighter character, and to use them to haul profitably and safely.

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • This class will begin with a lecture, running about forty minutes or so. Then a quick practical on the contract window. Followed by a Q&A.
  • Feel free to ask any questions in the Lecture.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. At the end, we'll open Mumble for any further questions or general discussion.
  • You should be docked up safely in a station.
  • Please put your Mumble settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

The freighter is an advanced hauling ship that is specialized in hauling large amounts of cargo. It is recommended to attend a Hauling 101 class before this class as this is essentially an advanced specialism within the broader hauling career path.

What is hauling?

Obelisk, the Gallente freighter

First, let's define what we mean by hauling. This pertains to all hauling vessels, from T1 Industrials, through to the advanced Jump Freighters.

Hauling, in any vessel, comes in three types:

  • Speculator haulers - These are haulers that make their own trade runs. They are entrepreneurs that profit from the differences in selling and buying prices in different locations. They use their ISK to buy low, transport purchased goods, and then sell high, and earn profits on the margins.
  • Distribution Mission Runners - these are haulers that receive trade runs from non-player characters in the game. Many NPC agents specialize in distribution missions - paying for the transport of items to a particular location. Distribution missions can be quite lucrative, paying rewards in ISK and Loyalty Points, which can be used to acquire valuable faction items. Some distribution missions also reward success with implants, ship modules, or other goods.
  • Hired or Contract haulers - These are haulers that arrange trade runs with other players. For example, they can help to improve the effectiveness of mining operations by providing transport of ores to stations for refining, or who by moving refined minerals to other stations for sale. Alternatively, haulers can also accept courier contracts offered by players on the market. Hired haulers either get paid on a percentage of the operation haul, or on a flat fee basis for contracts.

As a freighter pilot you can take part in all of the above, however the primary use, and the most lucrative, is running courier contracts. There are always players that want to move fitted ships, expensive cargo, or large amount of ore and minerals that won’t fit into an industrial, and who don't have the skills, time or inclination to train for a freighter themselves.

Getting into a freighter takes about a month for the basic. You can however start out as a hauler with an industrial ship running smaller contracts as you train up to the freighter.

Hauling may sound like an easy way to get rich in EVE - and in fact you can earn millions of ISK per hour of effort, if you do it correctly, however the risks can also be extremely high.

Establishing a hauler character or alt

Fenrir, the Minmatar freighter

Many players set up a separate alternate character or "alt" to specialize in hauling. There are several advantages to this arrangement:

  • You can keep the hauler character out of the UNI, allowing you to conduct hauling activities during wartime.
  • You can focus your training on the alt on hauling-related skills, allowing them to develop a high degree of competence quickly.
  • If operating in a separate account, you can pair your hauler alt with your main character for mining ops or for hauling away salvage after missions, freeing your main character to focus on productive activities, like mining or killing NPC targets.

To set up a hauler alt in your main account, restart your EVE client, and then click on one of the blank boxes below your main character portrait. You are allowed up to three characters in your main account.

To set up a hauler alt in a separate account, you can either register a whole new account with CCP on the main EVE website, or you can create an alternate character in your main account, and then pay a small fee to split off your alt into a new account later, if you wish. (Note: You can only have 1 character on your account training at a time unless you pay a PLEX for 30 days of dual/multi character training.)

A useful guide to setting up a hauler alt: Creating an Alt Hauler

What is the best race for your Freighter? In the long run, it does not really matter, as any character can be trained to pilot any ship, given enough time.

With the freighter business it can be a lucrative way to make money while you are doing other stuff on your main account. A lot of freighter pilots run in AFK (away from keyboard) mode by using the auto pilot because a freighter is a very slow ship. This is however extremely dangerous, and especially if hauling high value goods, should be avoided wherever possible.

Overview of Freighters

So how do we determine which freighter we want to pilot? While all four ships are broadly similar, there are slight differences in their comparative strengths and weaknesses.

  • Amarr: Providence - Good all around freighter; second most agile, second most EHP and joint lowest cargo with the Fenrir
  • Caldari: Charon - Largest cargo capacity, but slowest and least agile
  • Gallente: Obelisk - Highest EHP of the group. Second highest cargo capacity. Third most agile
  • Minmatar: Fenrir - Joint lowest cargo capacity and least EHP, but the fastest and most agile


Attribute
Providence
Charon
Obelisk
Fenrir
Structure HP
100,000 HP
77,500 HP
110,000 HP
65,000 HP
Armor HP
46,000 HP
15,000 HP
40,000 HP
22,000 HP
Shield HP
10,000 HP
50,000 HP
14,000 HP
48,000 HP
Total HP
156,000 HP
142,500 HP
164,000 HP
135,000 HP
Max Velocity
70 m/sec
60 m/sec
65 m/sec
80 m/sec
Base Time to Warp
78.6s
83.8s
82.1s
71.6s
Base Cargo Capacity
435,000m3
465,000m3
440,000m3
435,000m3


The Hauling page on the wiki has some further useful details on the comparative benefits of hauling ships for further reading.

Essential Freighter skills

To get started as a Freighter hauler, the absolutely required skills you need are:

  • Racial Freighter I
    • Advanced Spaceship Command V
      • Spaceship Command V
    • Racial Industrial III
      • Spaceship Command III

(36d 8h 30m estimated training time only for the listed skills based on zero implants and without neural remaps.)


The only freighter attributes that can be changed through training and implants are:

  • Hitpoints
  1. Hull - Mechanics skill
  2. Armor - Hull Upgrades skill
  3. Shields - Shield Operation, Shield Management skills
  • Cargo capacity - Freighter skill
  • Agility - Advanced Spaceship Command, Evasive Maneuvering
  • Velocity
  1. Sub-warp - Navigation
  2. Warp - Warp Drive Operation (reduces Cap usage when entering warp but not the actual warp speed)


Optional - Implants

Low-Grade Nomad Set (Beginning Indy Pilot)

Slot
Implant
Benefit
1
Low-grade Nomad Alpha
+2 Perception; +1% bonus to ship agility; +2.5% Set bonus to ship agility
2
Low-grade Nomad Beta
+2 Memory; +2% bonus to ship agility; +2.5% Set bonus to ship agility
3
Low-grade Nomad Delta
+2 Intelligence; +4% bonus to ship agility; +2.5% Set bonus to ship agility
4
Low-grade Nomad Epsilon
+2 Charisma; +5% bonus to ship agility; +2.5% Set bonus to ship agility
5
Low-grade Nomad Gamma
+2 Willpower; +3% bonus to ship agility; +2.5% Set bonus to ship agility
6
Low-grade Nomad Omega
+10% Set bonus to ship agility


Mid-Grade Nomad Set (Veteran Indy Pilot)

Slot
Implant
Benefit
1
Mid-grade Nomad Alpha
+3 Perception; +1% bonus to ship agility; +10% Set bonus to ship agility
2
Mid-grade Nomad Beta
+3 Memory; +2% bonus to ship agility; +10% Set bonus to ship agility
3
Mid-grade Nomad Delta
+3 Intelligence; +4% bonus to ship agility; +10% Set bonus to ship agility
4
Mid-grade Nomad Epsilon
+3 Charisma; +5% bonus to ship agility; +10% Set bonus to ship agility
5
Mid-grade Nomad Gamma
+3 Willpower; +3% bonus to ship agility; +10% Set bonus to ship agility
6
Mid-grade Nomad Omega
+25% Set bonus to ship agility


Mid-Grade Ascendancy Set (Seasoned Indy Pilot)

Slot
Implant
Benefit
1
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Alpha
+3 Perception; +1% bonus to warp speed; +10% Set bonus to warp speed
2
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Beta
+3 Memory; +2% bonus to warp speed; +10% Set bonus to warp speed
3
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Delta
+3 Intelligence; +4% bonus to warp speed; +10% Set bonus to warp speed
4
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Epsilon
+3 Charisma; +5% bonus to warp speed; +10% Set bonus to warp speed
5
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Gamma
+3 Willpower; +3% bonus to warp speed; +10% Set bonus to warp speed
6
Mid-Grade Ascendancy Omega
+35% Set bonus to warp speed


High-Grade Ascendancy Set (Expert Indy Pilot)

Slot
Implant
Benefit
1
High-Grade Ascendancy Alpha
+4 Perception; +1% bonus to warp speed; +15% Set bonus to warp speed
2
High-Grade Ascendancy Beta
+4 Memory; +2% bonus to warp speed; +15% Set bonus to warp speed
3
High-Grade Ascendancy Delta
+4 Intelligence; +4% bonus to warp speed; +15% Set bonus to warp speed
4
High-Grade Ascendancy Epsilon
+4 Charisma; +5% bonus to warp speed; +15% Set bonus to warp speed
5
High-Grade Ascendancy Gamma
+4 Willpower; +3% bonus to warp speed; +15% Set bonus to warp speed
6
High-Grade Ascendancy Omega
+70% Set bonus to warp speed


Skill Hardwirings

Slot
Implant
Benefit
6
Navigation Implants: Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Warp Drive Speed WS-605, WS-608, WS-610, WS-613, WS-615, WS-618
+5, +8, +10, +13, +15, and +18% increase in warp speed respectively
7
Shield Implants: Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Management SM-701, SM-702, SM-703, SM-704, SM-705, SM-706
+1, +2, +3, +5, +6% bonus to shield capacity respectively
7
Navigation Implants: Eifyr and Co. ‘Rogue’ Evasive Maneuvering EM-701, EM-702, EM-703, EM-704, EM-705, EM-706
+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6% bonus to ship agility respectively
8
Armor Implants: Inherent Implants 'Noble' Mechanic MC-801, MC-802, MC-803, MC-804, MC-805, MC-806
+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6% bonus to hull hitpoints respectively
9
Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Operation SP-901, SP-902, SP-903, SP-904, SP-905, SP-906
+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6% boost to shield recharge rate respectively
10
Armor Implants: Inherent Implants 'Noble' Hull Upgrades HG-1001, HG-1002, HG-1003, HG-1004, HG-1005, HG-1006
+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +8% bonus to armor hitpoints respectively


Freighter hauling capital requirements

Starting a new hauler alt character is relatively easy, but getting into a Freighter for the most lucrative hauling opportunities can require considerable capital. It is very possible however to build up to this level via smaller contracts in Tech 1 or Tech 2 Industrials while you train for a Freighter.

  • Required: About 1-1.5 billion ISK to purchase the freighter.
  • Required: About 5 million ISK to purchase essential fittings Following the Kronos expansion which reduced module slots and removed rigs for Freighters, the only necessary modules tends to be a set of three each of Reinforced Bulkheads, Inertial Stabilisers and Expanded Cargoholds.
  • Required but not urgent: About 125 million ISK for essential skillbooks - though these can be purchased as you need them over time. If you are in the UNI, you can acquire some of these at no cost from the Alpha hangar. The key books to fly a freighter will be 45 million ISK for Advanced Spaceship Command and 75 Million ISK for the racial freighter skillbooks.
  • Required: About 100 million to 1 billion ISK for courier contract collateral - almost all player-created courier contracts on the market require a collateral amount, which is refunded when you've delivered the package and completed the contract. The most lucrative courier contracts are also the most risky, and therefore require commensurate amounts of collateral. Most Freighter sized contracts will require 800mn ISK+ in collateral
  • Optional: Implants for movement and speed. They vary in price and can be rather expensive

Freighter Hauling Survivability

All of the below applies to any hauling activity, however given Freighters tend to carry the most valuable cargo, in addition to being quite expensive ships in their own right, and given their lack of options for escaping a gank once caught, these are especially relevant:

  • Never go AFK - Being "away from keyboard" is death. Don't be lazy. Even in high-sec. Watch your overview like a hawk.
  • Never use autopilot to fly your ship - Using the autopilot feature in the in-game map (the F10 key) is good practice for planning your routes - especially if you have the "Prefer Safer" option selected (F10, then Autopilot tab, then Settings tab). BUT never use autopilot to fly your ship. Be paranoid. There are gankers everywhere.
  • Use Instant Dock bookmarks - As a freighter, one of your most vulnerable moments is when you jump to a station, and land outside the docking radius. With your slow speed, it can take several minutes for you to reach the docking range at sub-warp velocities, at which time you are extremely vulnerable to attack. Having instant-dock bookmarks, especially at large trade hubs, where you can always warp within docking range is invaluable. For more details see: Bookmarks
  • Consider using a webbing alt - Warping requires your ship to hit 75% max velocity before you initiate warp. If a stasis web is applied to your freighter, it lowers your maximum velocity, and allows you to enter warp considerably faster, up to virtually instantly if several webs are applied. When transporting valuable cargo, this can be used by freighter pilots to minimise time on gates and evade gate camps. This requires a second account so that your alt can apply webs to your freighter from another ship. You will also need to either be in a duel, or in the same corp with friendly fire turned off, in order to avoid your alt being flagged as a criminal.
  • Understand your enemy - Most pilots that conduct suicide ganks are not doing it to be mean. They are doing it to make ISK. Understand the mind of your adversary, and you go a long way to defeat them. An excellent recording of how the mind of a suicide ganker works can be found here: class recording of "The Dark Side of EVE"
  • Beware of 0.0 and low-sec - Unless you are in a Tech II blockade runner, and have the high level of skills to go to warp instantly under the safety of an advanced covert operations cloak, going to 0.0 or even low-sec space (0.1-0.4 security status) is too risky to contemplate. Don't do it. Stay in high security space for your freighter, even if this means taking the long way around. Set your autopilot settings to safer routes. Know where the common piracy havens are located: Known pirate systems.
  • Insure your ship - Insurance is your friend. It softens the blow after an "accident". Keep your insurance policy up to date, always. It's worth the investment.
  • Don't Over-haul - Gankers love to hit Freighters with expanded cargoholds fitted, as not only will they usually be carrying more valuable cargo, but the expanded cargoholds actually reduce your EHP making you a softer target. Be sensible, and try and balance the value of your cargo against your survivability if you are ganked.

Advanced hauling topics

  • Courier contracts - Public courier contracts are where most of your work will come from as as a Freighter pilot, unless you haul for yourself or your corporation.
    • You can access these by selecting the Contracts button on your NeoCom, clicking the "Available Contracts" tab, then select "Entire Region" in the View field, and "Courier" in the Contract Type field, then click on the "Get Contracts" button.
    • Some general rules for the wise courier contractor:
      • Beware of 0.0 and low-sec - have a map, and avoid contracts that start, end or go through dangerous areas.
      • Beware of pirates - avoid courier contracts that start, end or go through known piracy areas: Known pirate systems
      • If the contract is too good to be true, it's too good to be true - beware of contracts that pay an absurd reward for very little or no collateral, as they may be an attempt to lure you into a gank
      • Beware of contracts which start or end in a Citadel. Current mechanics allow players to remove docking rights while you are in mid-flight. This very common scam prevents you from docking and completing your contract, costing you your collateral. There is currently no way to avoid this except for not accepting the contract in the first place.
  • Other advanced hauling ships: Hauling
    • Covert Ops Frigates: don't forget the usefulness of these small, fast, cloaked ships for transporting tiny but high-value cargo, such as blueprint originals
    • Blockade Runners: great for hauling valuable loads of under 10K cubic meters in low-sec and 0.0, in a cloaked ship
    • Deep Space Transport: extra-tanked industrials, with good capacity - nice for hauling moderately valuable cargo
    • Orcas: very handy for mining operations, and a darned good large-scale hauler; the Corporate Hold is particularly useful in that it cannot be scanned, making it nice for hauling sensitive or high-value goods. See this guide for more details on the Orca: Orca Guide
    • Jump Freighters: can use cynosural fields to jump into 0.0 and low sec space; the only way to go for shipping large quantities of goods into low security areas
  • Hauling corporations - There are a number of player corporations that specialize in hauling. You can either use these instead of hauling yourself, or, if you want to make a career out of hauling, join them to get access to the most lucrative contracts. These include:
    • Red Frog Freight: The oldest, most reliable and most well known. Lucrative to work for, and expensive to use as a customer, but as they keep hauler numbers equivalent to demand, they have a long waiting list to join.
    • Push X: Red Frog's largest competitor, much easier to join, however internal competition, and overall lower rates than Red Frog mean it's not quite as lucrative (although still an excellent source of income!)
    • New Evolution Express: The smallest and newest of the major corps, and often the cheapest for customers (even our very own AMC buyback scheme uses them). Very welcoming of new haulers, even non-freighter pilots, and usually a good flow of work, but rewards are lower than the big two
  • Carrying sensitive or high-value cargo
    • The "plastic wrap" which all contracts are automatically placed in on creation does not protect your goods from being cargo scanned!
    • If you put your goods in a secure container, and then make a courier contract with that container, then the items in the container will be "double wrapped", and protected from cargo scans
    • Please be aware though that most large hauling companies will not allow such double-wrapped contracts
    • In Empire space, carrying illegal goods (indicated with a skull-and-crossbones on the item icon) can get you in trouble with customs agents
      • Customs agents (not CONCORD, by the way) randomly scan ships going through gates, or sometimes at stations - the higher the security rating of the system, the higher the chance of being scanned
      • If a customs agent suspects that you are carrying illegal items, they will send you a pop-up message, asking if you are carrying illegal goods
        • If you say "yes", they will confiscate your illegal items, fine you heavily, and you will take a substantial faction-standing loss
        • If you say "no", then you should attempt to quickly jump through and escape, as they may attack your ship

Class Wrap-up

  • Thanks for attending this class!
    • I would appreciate any feedback from people on how to improve the class.
    • If you liked the class, send me 1 ISK, and include any suggestions for improvement.
    • If you have any constructive criticisms, those are welcome also - please send me an EVE mail with your suggestions.
  • Good luck, and fly safe!