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 12-29-2018, 04:08 AM #2 hal   Join Date: Aug 2004 Location: Buffalo, New York Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe Remember my original calculations above were based on the laser rifle taking up TWICE the volume that the M1 Garand required. CT would have us believe that the back pack battery weighs 4 kg in mass, and costs 1500 credits. As always, when one has to determine how much volume a given "thing" takes versus its weight, we go to the density formula that specifies that Density is equal to Volume/Mass. So, at 2.66 grams per cubic centimeter for a Nicad battery (calculated density of a D-cell battery at 33.6mm diameter by 61.5mm height), the volume of the battery pack would be roughly 1500 cubic centimeters in volume. You could pack roughly 10 of those batteries in a half cubic foot of volume. Now, those are back of envelope calculations, and in all probability, the density of the battery pack will be HIGHER per cubic centimeter than what we use for today's NiCad batteries. The energy density of those power packs have to power 100 shots after all... In any event, my conservative "doubling" of the volume for shipping purposes for laser rifles was, if anything, TOO conservative. At 600 rifles per dTon volume for the M1's, chances are good that we're not going to get only 300 laser rifles per dTon volume as I originally estimated, but probably closer to perhaps 400 to 500 INCLUSIVE of their battery packs. If shipping battery packs separately, even assuming that you need 1 cubic foot of volume per 10 batteries (instead of getting maybe 18 per cubic foot) - a single dTon of roughly 500 cubic feet is going to be able to carry roughly 5,000 battery packs. Let's be nice and double the packaging requirements and lower the number of 2,500 battery packs per dTon (Just for giggles). That works out to a per battery surcharge of .4 Credits per parsec jump under the old Classic Traveller rules. In order to DOUBLE the cost of those self same batteries worth 1,500 credits per battery, we'd need to ship those batteries roughly 1,500/.4 or 3750 parsecs. This puts it in a whole new perspective when it comes to just how worth while it may be to ship any given "goods" any given distance from a world to its outlying markets. I happened to pick the M1 Garands because I had stats on them, and could find the shipping crate stats that carried 10 rifles to a crate, and in turn, could determine its overall volume requiements and then try and figure out how much a dTon could carry. Other consumer goods such as radios, medicines, vehicles (although vehicles end up getting the worst of the situation because the ratio of value to volume is worse). 600 rifles worth 200 credits each has an overall value of 120,000 credits (not the 30,000 listed in book 2 for speculative cargo). But were the original rules subjected to the same level of analysis just performed above - chances are good that the economics of shipping goods across interstellar distances would have been a touch more interesting. How many BIC pens could one pack into a dTon of space? Going to Amazon, looking up BIC pens, I find that I can buy a box of 36 pens whose case dimensions are 2.8 x 3.8 x 6 inches or 63.84 cubic inches. Assuming that the packing cases are somewhat larger, I'm only going to assume 400 cubic feet's worth of product to fill 500 cubic feet of volume to account for the thicker packaging for the bigger cases containing the packs of 36. That works out to 388,800 pens per dTon of volume, worth \$21 per case x 27 cases per cubic foot x 400 cubic feet or \$226,800. (Note that this isn't wholesale costs, but retail!). What would it take to double the price value of those pens assuming that \$1 today was equal to 1 credit? (not the case I'm sure, but just doing the math) 1000 credits per dTon carrying 10,800 "cases" of 36 pens each - would spread the shipping cost per unit to .092 credits per case. To double the value of a \$20 case, we'd have to ship it roughly 216 parsecs. So, the whole point of this thread is to give you an idea of just how effective it is to ship goods in a Traveller Universe. Divide the cost of 1 displacement ton shipping by the number of units carried in that same volume, to determine the actual markup required to break even for the cost of shipping. Even BIC pens shipped at large quanties would benefit from such a shipping price assuming that the market has a demand for the product in question. If you factor in the exchange rates for currency as originally set up in Classic Traveller, low tech worlds with poor starports would end up having to pay a higher "local price" for the goods they can't manufacture using their low tech manufacturing base. I largely suspect that BIC pens will outsell quill pens any day. ;)
12-29-2018, 01:54 PM   #5
Fred Brackin

Join Date: Aug 2007
Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe

Quote:
 Originally Posted by hal e with material technology. Somewhere in the rules for character creation, are rules for what high tech goods above your campaign average technology is worth. e.
Those are in Gurps 4e and are x2 per TL. They are quite abstract and shipping would probably be only one factor.
__________________
Fred Brackin

 12-30-2018, 01:11 AM #6 jason taylor     Join Date: Aug 2005 Location: Portland, Oregon Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe What is the purpose of a Garand-equiv, as opposed to an ACR? Are you trying to manipulate some quarrel between natives? If so it is probably off the beaten path with the locals short of money. Do the rifles have accessory mounts? Telescopic sights? Infra-red sights? Bayonets? Grenade launchers? __________________ "The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
12-30-2018, 04:15 AM   #7
hal

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jason taylor What is the purpose of a Garand-equiv, as opposed to an ACR? Are you trying to manipulate some quarrel between natives? If so it is probably off the beaten path with the locals short of money. Do the rifles have accessory mounts? Telescopic sights? Infra-red sights? Bayonets? Grenade launchers?
The purpose of the Garand equiv as you put it, was to use real world data - specifically, cost, weight, volume etc - vs what the rules for Traveller specify.

Page 179 of GURPS INTERSTELLAR WARS states that there will be no trade between two worlds separated by 20+ parsecs of distance. I'm suggesting that the rule(s) need to be looked at more closely.

If you can ship 500 units of Widgets at say, 50 credits per widget when sold retail on the world that manufactures the TL 10 Widget - what would the price of that same widget be if we had to add in shipping costs of 1,000 credits for 1 parsec's journey to a world that is 20 parsecs away?

20 x 1 KCr = 20 KCr for the final total paid for that 1 dTon of cargo capacity
20 KCr / 500 units = 40 credits per unit.

SO a 50 Cr item, with a shipping markup of 40 credits, would now have to sell for 90 credits at the very least. If such a product can't be manufactured locally, or the cost to produce that product locally exceeds 90 Cr - then it is cheaper to ship that product 20 parsecs than to manufacture it locally, and trade is worth the effort.

How far can you ship that widget worth 50 credits before the cost per unit drives its price to 100 cr (double its base worth)?

50 x 500 = 25,000 Cr. One would be able to travel some 25 parsecs at 1,000 per parsec distance before that level is reached.

So widgets, garands, computers, Solar panel power cell rechargers - you name it. One would have to know how many units per dTon can be shipped to determine wither or not transporting the item long distance is viable or not.

:)

 01-07-2019, 05:09 AM #8 J. L. Brown   Join Date: Mar 2011 Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe It looks like manufactured goods can go quite a few parsecs before they become unprofitable; but raw resources and agricultural products seem to stack up differently. A metric ton of dry white rice sells for ~US \$400 -- and approximately 10 metric tons fit in a dTon. I am using https://www.indexmundi.com/commodities as a reference. Given this, it seems like an agricultural world will support only the planets within about five or six parsecs, while an industrialized world will trade much further. Perhaps manufactured goods don't trade at the full distance implied in the original calculations because a nearer world can out-compete on price with shorter transport requirements. Even with the lower prices per dTon of raw materials and agricultural products, it still seems like they trade over a wider area than the OTU seems to imply. In well developed subsectors, the cuisine (including imported food) should change pretty gradually between maybe four or five regions, centered on the main agricultural producers.
 01-07-2019, 07:59 AM #9 Pomphis   Join Date: Oct 2004 Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe As jump drives are volume-based, not mass-based: would dehydrating agricultural products help to save volume?
 01-07-2019, 10:44 AM #10 hal   Join Date: Aug 2004 Location: Buffalo, New York Re: Shipping in a Traveller Universe Back in the day, I remember bumping into a major inconsistency with respect towards the price of Grain in Classic Traveller, and the knowledge of how many bushels one can carry within a displacement ton from of all places - STAR TREK role playing game. Years later, one can go to an online converter, enter in 1 bushel = how many cubic feet, and the answer becomes: dry bushel = 1.24445601851852 foot^3 Assuming 500 cubic feet per dTon, that means that a single dTon of volume can carry 401.7819775 dry bushels. so call it your "units" per dTon. So, let's look at GURPS INTERSTELLAR WARS for a moment. Grain, Flour, Baked Goods sells for \$5,000 per dTon. If we divide the value per dTon by 400, that brings us a price in the vicinity of \$12.50 per bushel. I don't know about you, but flour in my neighborhood isn't being sold today at anything like those prices. Looking it up on the web, I get this... "Amount: 1 bushel dry (bsh, bu) of all purpose flour (APF) volume Equals: 41.05 pounds (lb) in all purpose flour (APF) mass" So - we now have knowledge of how many bushels (401) per dTon the Traveller Universe would really be able to ship of all purpose flour, and we now know that all purpose flour used in baking comes in at 41.05 lbs per bushel. At 12.50 Solars (I think that was the currency used in GURPS Interstellar Wars), the price per lb of flour as a speculative good, was being sold at .304506699 Solars. Think about that for a moment. At Amazon.com, if you looked up All Purpose Flour, the prices per pound range as low as .66 per pound to as high as 5.90 a pound. That is still 2x higher than what it is priced at in Interstellar Wars (assuming a Solar equals a Dollar - which can be argued it isn't). Now, let's assume that we are using shipping containers to contain the flour. Let's say we lose 10% by volume, space due to the containers. That gives us a useful volume of only 360.9 cubic feet for the \$5,000 - making the unit value per lb change from .3045 to .3375. So, how far could a shipment go before the cost per parsec change the value by 100%? If we carry 360.9 bushels of all purpose flour per dTon, and a bushel is equal to 41.05 lbs, that means we're shipping 360.9 x 41.05 lbs per dTon. That works out to 14,814.945 lbs per parsec. A single jump would cost (and I'm going to stick with GURPS INTERSTELLAR WARS to keep costs relative to each other...) 700 solars per parsec travelled. So, dividing 700 by 14,814, the added cost per lb of all purpose flour (at 5000 solars per dTon, becomes .05 solars per parsec (rounding to 2 digits). .34 / .05 - results in a distance of 6.8 parsecs travel before the price per pound of all purpose flour doubles. So, yes, commodities would be limited to a relatively shorter range before its prices double. The question now would be - "Is that a good or bad thing?" For a world where food production is poor, any food is better than no food, then doubling or trebling its value probably would be worth it. If one doubles the cost of food, then either the wage earned has to be increased to handle the increased food costs, or the other prices for non-food expenses suffer or have to be relatively cheaper. Things get even more interesting if you consider the trade rules/concepts developed for the Gravity Trade model. An agricultural world exporting grains, would have to export 24 dTons of grain to equal 1 dTon of imports for pharmaceuticals or ammunition for firearms. It would have to export 600 dtons of grains to equal 1.5 dTons of Industrial crystals (assuming standard 100% value of goods being sold to each other). So, yes, I'd expect that resources with a low value per dTon suffer from ranges drastically as compared against high tech or high value "manufactured" goods. I would also suspect that if World A produces 100,000 dtons of manufactured goods, with a 24:1 ratio of goods required to exchange resources for finished goods, it would take 24 worlds producing 100,000 dtons of goods to equal the trade of that one world. That's 2.4 Million dTons of exports to that world, just to be able to enjoy 100,000 dtons split between 24 worlds - of that one industrial world. Kind of a sobering thought no?

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