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Author Topic: Shipping rice to the stars  (Read 2892 times)

Iracundus

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Shipping rice to the stars
« on: 04 September 2016, 09:31:44 »
I know, Battletech & economics, make your Sanity rolls at the door please.  I was thinking about Traveller and thought about whether the trading as described in BTU for commodities could work for a trader character. 

I thought about the known situation of Kaifeng (mass exporter of rice) to Sarna (known Agricultural Dependence of D), and known to be dependent on Kaifeng for food due to the Capellan novels since that was what gave SLT leverage over Sarna.  Thus we have an economic situation where the details are concrete. 

Assume: 
It is 1 jump to travel.  10 burn-days for Kaifeng and 12.01 for Sarna (22.01 burn-days used, but rest of trip time rounded up to 1 month of 30 days for ease).  Assume a Mammoth Dropship, wholly owned.  I assume purchased fuel at half standard SO pricing since civilian shipping to large starport and thus likely to buy fuel rather than make their own.  Rest of calculations and maintenance costs used Campaign Operations and known data on the Mammoth

Costs:
Crew salaries                     56,200
Payment for 1 jump           50,000
Spare parts consumption  780,000
Fuel                             1,381,678

Total costs:                   2,267,878 C-bills

Assuming used cargo:
Spare parts of 1% mass                                    520     tons
30 days consumables for crew and bay personnel  35.25 tons

Available cargo:  36,693.25 tons

Total revenue needed to cover costs:  61.81 C-bills per ton

Converting C-bills to 1999 USD then converting to 2016 USD equates to about $264 per ton of rice.  The monthly price index for rice in RL in July 2016 was $456 per ton.

So economically, it seems it could work for a trader character.  Granted I had trouble finding the cost for crew consumables, and I did not assume anything like a mortgage on the ship, or a profit margin above and beyond costs.  I suppose on a critical shipping route like this, the state would take a hand and might offer subsidies or use state traders to ensure steady supply of food to Sarna.

At 400 grams of rice per day (per World Food Programme), that Mammoth would be able to feed about 1.5 million people for 2 months which is roughly the round trip time to get back to Kaifeng and back to Sarna.  Sarn had a population of 3.534 billion in 3067, which assuming its Agricultural Dependence of D means 60% need feeding then 2.120 billion need imported food.  That one Mammoth is a drop in the bucket and would need to keep shuttling endlessly back and forth. 

This also means that conquest of any such highly populated food dependent world requires the capture of the merchant fleet feeding it, or the redirection of one's own merchant shipping, else the world crashes into mass starvation.  I would imagine most of the time, the merchants would flee at the first sign of combat and then others would avoid jumping in, making starvation a much more likely outcome.
« Last Edit: 04 September 2016, 18:51:12 by Iracundus »

cray

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #1 on: 04 September 2016, 11:50:12 »
Per ATOW, very few populous planets depend on food imports.

... with few exceptions
(literally enough to be counted on one hand), most planets with
average or larger populations can feed and provide fresh water
for themselves. Those that cannot are dead or else monopolize a
noticeable percentage of JumpShips to stay alive.

This does not mean that every surviving planet in the Inner
Sphere and the Near Periphery is a breadbasket—far from
it. Many worlds dedicate sizable portions of their economies
to simple survival with primitive, energy-hungry water filters
and labor-intensive farming techniques needed for less-thanoptimal
environments. Some worlds are ruled by dictatorships
that carefully control the water supply, while others demand
that every able-bodied citizen maintain a home garden to help
produce food. Some of the largest economic booms of the
3030s and 3040s came not from new computer chips or revived
JumpShip designs, but from innocuous recoveries of chemistry
and agronomy that allowed planets to free entire sections of
their labor force from the task of bare survival to more profitable
activities like building schools and staffing factories.


That said, that's a good analysis. Also a good reason to invest in higher-profit items than rice. In addition to the costs you listed, you still have to pay off the JumpShip and DropShip purchase prices. That happens faster with crates of microchips and high-value gear than rice.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

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Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

Colt Ward

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #2 on: 04 September 2016, 12:56:41 »
You are discussing one ship . . . how many Mammoth, Behemoth, Mule and Jumbos are making that trip . . . are they using pirate points (which I have honestly never understood the fear of for regular runs)?  IIRC Kaifeng has one, maybe two, recharge stations which should speed up the trips.  Cost of transport would probably go down a bit due to the recharge stations since the cost of 'renting' the DS collar drops for a shortened duration.  How many Merchant, Invader and Star Lord jumpships are plying those shipping lanes- keeping in mind the Invader is the most common and only 32% of them are in private hands which is spread between the whole Inner Sphere and Periphery.  But with recharge stations it is possible a jumpship is moving 3 sets of dropships between 2 systems- 1 on each world loading/unloading and 1 in transit for a total of 9 cargo droppers.  But for a merchant ship this is not the most efficient system of trading . . . typically merchant ships like 'triangle' trade.  What does Sarna produce that might be moved to a 3rd system which produces something Kaifeng may want or need.

Also, 'rice' would probably cost more due to the limited availability of food.  Even though it is considered a commodity the supply is not as plentiful as it would be on a agriculutrally overproducing world.  It would apply to all food, its not like we are comparing the cost of filet mignon to sirloin where a cost difference is explained by quality.  The market index for food is going to be higher period.

The final thing to consider is . . . what is it that Sarna produces- Aerospace and conventional craft are the only military items we know.  How much of the things they produce do they get from on planet and how much (say like the ACs in the DS weapons) come from other places?  If so, bringing in food along with a contracted shipment of weapons is probably not a bad idea to make a more profitable run for a independent trader.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #3 on: 04 September 2016, 14:06:28 »
It's also possible that cargo gets shuffled in transit.  Maybe Mamoths bring it to orbit, move it onto Behemoths, then it gets shuffled back for landing.  Doing it that way, each jumpship would be able to haul effectively double the cargo, halving the number of ships/trips needed.
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cray

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #4 on: 04 September 2016, 17:57:13 »
You are discussing one ship . . .

No, Iracundus mentioned fleets at the end of his post.

Quote
are they using pirate points (which I have honestly never understood the fear of for regular runs)?

Look at the rules for pirate points. The rolls are murderous.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading." --Thomas Jefferson, or not

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #5 on: 04 September 2016, 18:37:37 »
I know AToW says few planets depend on food imports.  Sarna however seems to be one of them since its food import dependence was a critical plot point of why the Confederation took Kaifeng.  The resulting leverage forced Sarna to capitulate.  I used 60% of Sarna needing imported food, due to the AToW reference to Irian (also Agricultural Dependence D and industrialized) needing to feed "over half" its population from off-world sources.  I assumed therefore that D rating means <50% self-sufficiency for all worlds needing imports.  From looking at the costs, it seems bulk food imports would rapidly become prohibitively expensive the more jumps you make.

Actually the 3 systems of Sarna, Sakhalin, and Kaifeng exist in probably a form of triangle trade, since we know they were economically linked as part of the short-lived Sarna Supremacy.  They are all 1 jump from each other.  We know from the novels that Kaifeng exported 400 million tons of rice in 3058 (again from the novel).  Sakhalin is a known mining world that is also known to depend on Kaifeng for food, once more known from the novel.  So the economic links for this trio of worlds are known to an extent we rarely have for anywhere else in the Inner Sphere, and we know the number of burn-days required to the jump points.  That was the reason why I picked the example to look at, and Kaifeng in particular because we know the most details about it.  Sarna as the sole manufacturing hub would have been exporting components and finished goods to the other two worlds.  Sakhalin would have exported minerals to Sarna primarily, though perhaps a few odd shipments might go to Kaifeng. 

Now Kaifeng has an Olympus station.  If it were used for transshipment, then turnaround time would be lessened and if Dropships did not stick with their Jumpship but rather docked to whichever Jumpship was next due to jump out. 

Profit margin is probably higher for Sarna's exported finished goods.  I would imagine however that whatever government controls Sarna (whether Confederation or Supremacy) would have a vested interest in maintaining the food shipments so perhaps the lucrative manufactured goods shipping contracts are available only in conjunction with agreeing to ship rice to Sarna. 

I chose the Mammoth due to it being described as the mainstay of bulk cargo transportation (and what is rice if not bulk cargo?).  I admittedly did not factor in cargo transfer or transshipment because I did not want to complicate matters even more by looking at cargo transfer times, and because I wanted to see if a trader on 1 Dropship could make a reasonable amount to cover costs and make a profit.  If it were a government or large corporation organizing the shipping, with multiple Dropships, then cargo shuffling could probably shave off time, though that would also increase operating costs.  At what point would the saved time pay off the increased costs?  I also had trouble finding what the cost is for a purchased charge from a recharge station, so I did not attempt an analysis for the Jumpship.   
« Last Edit: 04 September 2016, 18:55:12 by Iracundus »

cray

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #6 on: 04 September 2016, 19:49:20 »
Quote
I used 60% of Sarna needing imported food, due to the AToW reference to Irian (also Agricultural Dependence D and industrialized) needing to feed "over half" its population from off-world sources.  I assumed therefore that D rating means <50% self-sufficiency for all worlds needing imports.

Irian is a standout (pain in the butt) that conflicts with the number of JumpShips in the setting. There's only a few such large, populated planets that need to import food, and p. 373 ATOW was meant to debunk the idea that there are numerous other food-importing worlds. ATOW even changed its imports to reference orbital and lunar farms. As ATOW says about D-class agriculture, "Imports from other star systems may be the only source of luxury foods and, in a few cases, a portion of basic food supplies."

So, a D-rating doesn't mean that a planet imports lots of food. It means it puts lots of work into feeding itself. At least, that's the intent. There are always a few worlds that'll import rice.

Quote
From looking at the costs, it seems bulk food imports would rapidly become prohibitively expensive the more jumps you make.

Yep, which is why staple food imports are rare.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
**"Well, the first class name [for pocket WarShips]: 'Ship with delusions of grandeur that is going to evaporate 3.1 seconds after coming into NPPC range' tended to cause morale problems...." --Korzon77
**"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading." --Thomas Jefferson, or not

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #7 on: 04 September 2016, 20:12:12 »
So, a D-rating doesn't mean that a planet imports lots of food. It means it puts lots of work into feeding itself. At least, that's the intent. There are always a few worlds that'll import rice.

Yes, I understand the intent was to reconcile the issue of the Jumpships and the food issue.  Sarna however is clearly one of the few since its explicitly stated dependency on Kaifeng was a crucial plot and background point as to why it ended up being forced to capitulate to the Confederation again.  Kaifeng is also explicitly stated to be a 400 million ton a year bulk rice exporter.  I just wondered whether it was economically feasible for the traders (or whether it was a loss making, government subsidized or mandated route) and also what the cost of rice might be on Sarna.   

I wonder now how many of the Confederation's Jumpships would be tied up between Sarna, Kaifeng and Sakhalin.
« Last Edit: 04 September 2016, 20:38:08 by Iracundus »

Kidd

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #8 on: 04 September 2016, 22:16:11 »
0.5kg rice per person/day, allowing for some waste
1kg rice per 2 pax/day
2 billion pax is 1 billion kg/day, or 1 million tons*/day

That's 10 Behemoth class dropships or about 30+ Mammoths a day
Ferried by 10 Invader class Jumpships a day
70 Jumpships a week
Etc.

*fitting well under Kaifeng's rice exports of 400 million tons. If adjusted upwards, said 400 million tons can fed about 2.19 billion pax

Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #9 on: 04 September 2016, 22:40:31 »
0.5kg rice per person/day, allowing for some waste
1kg rice per 2 pax/day
2 billion pax is 1 billion kg/day, or 1 million tons*/day

That's 10 Behemoth class dropships or about 30+ Mammoths a day
Ferried by 10 Invader class Jumpships a day
70 Jumpships a week
Etc.

*fitting well under Kaifeng's rice exports of 400 million tons. If adjusted upwards, said 400 million tons can fed about 2.19 billion pax

Things then get more complicated if you include Sakhalin (the 3rd world in the Sarna Supremacy triangle).  Sakhalin was also apparently dependent on Kaifeng for much of its food, and had a population of 85 million.  Its mining exports would have gone primarily to Sarna.  The number of Jumpships tied up in this little trangle of worlds just goes up and up.

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #10 on: 04 September 2016, 23:02:58 »
I was looking at it from the other angle- that of how limited we are in jumpships/DS collars.

I understand the rules make pirate points dangerous, and why the rules make it so even if it should be math and well settled planets should have patrols clear the pirate points of large debris.
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monbvol

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2016, 23:25:06 »
Things then get more complicated if you include Sakhalin (the 3rd world in the Sarna Supremacy triangle).  Sakhalin was also apparently dependent on Kaifeng for much of its food, and had a population of 85 million.  Its mining exports would have gone primarily to Sarna.  The number of Jumpships tied up in this little trangle of worlds just goes up and up.

Especially when you start factoring in the extra ships you'd need to constantly keep that pace up every day.  If I got my math right that would be 110 Invaders and 630 Mammoths just for Sarna and Kaifeng to actually deliver that much every day thanks to transit times and charge times.

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #12 on: 08 October 2016, 08:39:29 »
And this is why they stopped giving us numbers for anything.

skiltao

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #13 on: 08 October 2016, 12:06:38 »
Or it could take as few as twenty Monoliths. Or a Ryan Cartel system. With respect to Cray, these old numbers are by no means impossible, they're just different from what a lot of people (developers sometimes included) assume.

Edit: and as to the larger issue that this would require the Successor States to over-invest in only a handful of worlds, the 1987 Capellan House book makes this statement about the 2900s: "Capellan strategy during this Succession War now revolved around the protection of as many agricultural worlds as possible. Already over half of the Capellan merchant marine was debris, scattered along comet orbits around a dozen suns. As the Capellans became overextended, fewer and fewer commanders risked their careers (and their heads) by losing 'Mechs, much less planets. Large gaps began to appear in the Confederation zones of control."

This also means that conquest of any such highly populated food dependent world requires the capture of the merchant fleet feeding it, or the redirection of one's own merchant shipping, else the world crashes into mass starvation.  I would imagine most of the time, the merchants would flee at the first sign of combat and then others would avoid jumping in, making starvation a much more likely outcome.

Per the first two editions of the RPG, big cartels (which this would no doubt qualify as) are often afforded immunity from attack, and allowed to operate freely across House borders.
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #14 on: 09 October 2016, 04:41:34 »
Transshipment considerations:

Jump in. 

30 minutes for Invader Jumpship and Mammoth dropships to detach and dock.  Olympus station can accommodate all 3 dropships at once.  I am assuming a simultaneous loading and unloading exchange of cargo since the station does not have enough cargo space for all 3 to unload then all 3 to load. 

Cargo transfer for a Mammoth to Olympus station:

36,693.25 tons of cargo.  3,669 containers of 10 ton each and remaining 3.25 tons as break bulk. Using SO:
Loading rate for containers assuming exoskeleton, heavy cargo platform, null-G pack = 3,000 tons/hour or 300 containers per hour
Break bulk cargo loading rate assuming same conditions = 10 tons/hour 

Unloading of cargo & loading a fresh cargo = 25.11 hours

Jumpship assuming a Regular crew skill can get a cable charge without risk of failure in 100 hours. 
Therefore the limiting factor is the Jumpship. 

If there is another Jumpship at the jump point that is charged, the 3 Mammoths can detach and dock with it in about 30 minutes.  Then depending on whether the Jumpship already has a calculation done, it could either jump immediately or use roughly an hour or so to make the calculations and input into the drive before jumping.  Actually can you calculate a jump before you have fully charged your K-F drive?

Total time for the dropships in-system:  25.61-26.61 hours depending on need for jump calculations. 

Ideally then, you want another trio of Mammoths from the planet to dock with the Olympus right after the first trio leave, to do another cargo transfer and then this trio goes to the planet. 

The Jumpships get faster turnaround time (about 75 hours shaved off at the Sarna end for cable charge compared to sail charge) as do their attached dropships.  The time for one individual sack of rice to go from Kaifeng to Sarna though may actually increase due to the unloading and loading.   

However Kaifeng AFAIK only has 1 station at each jump point so this setup wouldn't work for all shipments.  There are not enough docking collars on the station or enough cargo space.  Sarna needs even more ships arriving per day as 3 Mammoths feed only 270 million for 1 day.
« Last Edit: 09 October 2016, 10:39:27 by Iracundus »

Colt Ward

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #15 on: 09 October 2016, 10:05:13 »
Well, you also have deep space container parking as described in one MWDA book to consider.  Basically they dump containers for transshipment out in area around a station and they have transponders (which can sometimes fail) to let you know what is in a container.  The story it mentioned it had good sitting for a bit until the JS it was waiting for to show up.
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #16 on: 09 October 2016, 10:46:08 »
Well, you also have deep space container parking as described in one MWDA book to consider.  Basically they dump containers for transshipment out in area around a station and they have transponders (which can sometimes fail) to let you know what is in a container.  The story it mentioned it had good sitting for a bit until the JS it was waiting for to show up.

By SO rules that would be slower in terms of cargo transfer than docking with the station, since there would be penalties for being in vacuum (0.75x multiplier) and unenclosed zero-g (0.2x multiplier).  There would be loss of the heavy cargo platform facilities of the station (4x multiplier), which would not be compensated for even if there were zero-g gear (1.75x multiplier).  It's not like they are just tossing containers out the airlock. 

It'd be faster in terms of cargo reaching destination for the dropships to detach and burn towards the planet and the cargo to be untouched until final offloading on the planet.  Meanwhile the Jumpship can cable charge and pick up a different trio of dropships coming from the planet.  Of course then one wonders how the recharge station can really act as a cargo waystation, at least for busy systems like Sarna.  Unloading and loading cargo at the station just seems to delay cargo delivery, even though it means quicker turnaround for that particular trio of dropships (assuming you synchronize another Jumpship to be ready for them).

Anyone with a background in logistics want to take a stab at this situation to optimize a shipping schedule?  The Sarna-Kaifeng-Sakhalin triangle seems to be the most explicitly detailed interstellar trade situation we have, with actual commodity export figures given for Kaifeng, and the food import dependence of the other two on Kaifeng being a key plot point in a novel and the timeline.  Most other worlds out there don't have such details nailed down.
« Last Edit: 09 October 2016, 11:06:09 by Iracundus »

Colt Ward

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #17 on: 09 October 2016, 11:51:45 »
I was just throwing it out . . . for instance if a Monolith move a full load during the harvest season, they can drop off with the containers rather than wait for space at the station or burn in to the planet.  It would allow small craft to retrieve some of the cargo or smaller DS plying intersystem routes.
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kato

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #18 on: 09 October 2016, 12:15:13 »
From an optimization point, the central axis (system-to-system) is better served with nebulous primitive jumpships with large cargo bays than by Mammoth-Jumpship-combinations, provided there are stations either side.

As a thought exercise:

Hub Axis:
- Optimal roundcourse (stations either side): 200 hours for each ship - bottleneck still charging time.
- 400 million tons per year to move in this operation: 9,132,400 tons in any 200-hour frame
- Cargo movement: four cargo jumpships of 2,283,100 tons freight capacity with 33 doors, forget about dock collars
- Loading/unloading time: minimum 45,662 tons per hour; with containers, heavy platform, cargo manipulator, exoskeleton: doable (max capacity: 47,520 tons/hour).

It's the transshipment at either end that breaks it with what's available in Battletech. With Mammoths you'd need one departing every 48.21 minutes. Provided a roundcourse in-system (station-ground-station) of 22 days, Kaifeng would require approximately 658 Mammoths, while Sarna would require 1374 Mammoths. No way around those numbers.

That can be pretty much only alleviated with pirate jumppoints. If we push the roundcourse in transshipment down to 3 days we "only" need around 90 Mammoths (or around 45 100,000-ton droppers) at either end.

bluedragon7

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #19 on: 09 October 2016, 12:20:47 »
That's why my head canon reduces population by factors of 10-1000.
Millions are much more believable and sustainable than billions.

Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #20 on: 09 October 2016, 12:22:08 »
I was just throwing it out . . . for instance if a Monolith move a full load during the harvest season, they can drop off with the containers rather than wait for space at the station or burn in to the planet.  It would allow small craft to retrieve some of the cargo or smaller DS plying intersystem routes.

Ignoring the tiny 3.25 break bulk cargo (as I find hard to believe they'd just stack pallets of in space), the unloading time for the Mammoth example into space would be 196.88 tons/hour for containerized cargo (exoskeleton 1, zero-g gear x1.75, containers x5, null-g pack x2.5, vacuum x0.75, zero-g x0.2), which means the 36,690 tons of containers would take 7.76 days to unload into space.  With the standard 10 ton containers, that is 3,669 containers to organize and mark with transponders.  That is just unloading and now you have an empty dropship.  If you pick up containers from space it will be another 7.76 days to load.  That is 15.52 days before the dropship is ready to go dock and jump.  If you throw in the cargo manipulators to the transfer process, it goes down to 6.47 days to unload, meaning 12.94 days before the dropship is ready.

I suppose that is a significant time saving over burning to the planet and back (though probably a lot more work for the crew).  Though with 3,669 containers per ship and the planet needing about 30 ships of food per day, that is 110,070 containers needing to be moved per day.  We get the situation of thousands of containers floating around in space near the station (around both Sarna and Kaifeng stations).  While I have no specific problem with this, a bustling deep space container yard is not the impression we get given in the novel Binding Force.  How many recharge stations are at zenith and nadir points anyway?  One station can quick charge 8 Jumpships at once. 
« Last Edit: 09 October 2016, 12:40:11 by Iracundus »

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #21 on: 09 October 2016, 12:42:30 »
If there's exchange going on from jumpship to station and vice versa, instead of just jumper to planet, use Behemoths instead of Mammoths for the jump.  You can roughly double the amount of cargo moved per jump.
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #22 on: 09 October 2016, 12:48:03 »
If there's exchange going on from jumpship to station and vice versa, instead of just jumper to planet, use Behemoths instead of Mammoths for the jump.  You can roughly double the amount of cargo moved per jump.

True.  I chose the Mammoth because it was given to be a common bulk transport in the Inner Sphere, whereas I was under the impression the Behemoth was more uncommon.  If the Behemoths are docking with the station, the only problem is 2 Behemoths have more cargo than an Olympus station can hold.  I suppose one solution would be to synchronize 2 Behemoths docking to station while other dropships are docked.  Behemoths unload and load from station simultaneously, while other dropships do same, effectively meaning a transfer of cargo from Behemoth to other dropship, which then makes the run to the planet. 
« Last Edit: 09 October 2016, 12:53:22 by Iracundus »

skiltao

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #23 on: 10 October 2016, 14:00:37 »
one wonders how the recharge station can really act as a cargo waystation, at least for busy systems like Sarna.  Unloading and loading cargo at the station just seems to delay cargo delivery, even though it means quicker turnaround for that particular trio of dropships (assuming you synchronize another Jumpship to be ready for them).

I suppose the station would be used to smooth out irregularities in the schedule, or by ships who aren't part of such regular shipping. If, say, a Mule was planning to stop in four different systems, it might drop its cargo at a station in each instead of traveling all the way in-system every time. The station may also take on cargo from one trade route for ships from another route to pick up, without any of it actually bound for the star's own planets.

the unloading time for the Mammoth example into space would be 196.88 tons/hour for containerized cargo (exoskeleton 1, zero-g gear x1.75, containers x5, null-g pack x2.5, vacuum x0.75, zero-g x0.2), which means the 36,690 tons of containers would take 7.76 days to unload into space. 

It's pretty amazing that a single guy with a single wearable forklift can unload a whole Mammoth in only a week.  :o
« Last Edit: 10 October 2016, 14:05:31 by skiltao »
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Maingunnery

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #24 on: 10 October 2016, 14:10:43 »
True.  I chose the Mammoth because it was given to be a common bulk transport in the Inner Sphere, whereas I was under the impression the Behemoth was more uncommon.  If the Behemoths are docking with the station, the only problem is 2 Behemoths have more cargo than an Olympus station can hold.  I suppose one solution would be to synchronize 2 Behemoths docking to station while other dropships are docked.  Behemoths unload and load from station simultaneously, while other dropships do same, effectively meaning a transfer of cargo from Behemoth to other dropship, which then makes the run to the planet.
Behemoths are more specialized, they are cargo transports that carry their own distribution network. 
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skiltao

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #25 on: 10 October 2016, 14:36:31 »
I think Behemoths are actually more common. "Frequency of Sighting" from DropShips and JumpShips:

Common: Merchant, Invader; Buccaneer, Mule, Monarch, Behemoth. (Escape Pod, Life Boat, ST-46 Shuttle, S-7A Bus)

Uncommon: Scout; Fury, Gazelle, Condor; Leopard, Union; Mammoth; Olympus Station. (KR-71 Long-Range Shuttle, K1 DropShuttle)

Rare: Star Lord, Monolith; Seeker, Triumph, Excalibur; Overlord; Intruder; Leopard CV, Vengeance; Alliance Station. (Mk VII Landing Craft)

Unique: Avenger, Achilles, Fortress; Bastion Station.
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #26 on: 10 October 2016, 17:38:31 »
It's pretty amazing that a single guy with a single wearable forklift can unload a whole Mammoth in only a week.  :o

Actually I don't think it says that it's just a single guy.  The cargo transfer rules seem to imply it is the whole unit (i.e. the Dropship's crew) working.  Those 7.76 days also are actual working hours so it would take 7.76 round the clock days of constant work. 

skiltao

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #27 on: 11 October 2016, 17:40:00 »
It's based on a chart from the old, old DropShips and JumpShips book, and in that old book the rates are per-guy. (An industrial exoskeleton can lift 1 ton by itself, and presumably walk far enough in 30 seconds to exit a ship.)

There has to be some kind of allowance for available manpower- crew size doesn't scale with cargo size, you could have ground crew from a dropport handling the cargo, a scrappy little merc unit might not have enough exoskeletons for everybody to use, etc.

I guess, when in doubt, see if the book goes through an example.
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #28 on: 11 October 2016, 19:16:17 »
Manpower, and door limits being constraints all make sense, but I cannot find any rules as written in SO for this.  The example in there is for a liquid fuel tanker and it just talks about the equipment, and the number of drogues being the limiter.  Nothing there about manpower. 

Chaeronea

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Re: Shipping rice to the stars
« Reply #29 on: 10 December 2016, 23:19:25 »
Something else to consider -
Cargo: 36 693.25 tons
Value per ton: 61.81 C-Bills

Total Revenue: 2 268 009.7825 C-Bills

Less expenses as outlined in original post of 2 267 878 C-Bills leaves....

131.7825 C-Bills


Let's hope for this trader's sake that the cost per ton for rice is actually a lot higher.
« Last Edit: 11 December 2016, 00:30:37 by Chaeronea »

 

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