Hauling is the act of transporting items from one location to another. It can be between two stations, from a mining operation to a station, or between any other two points where items and resources can be found or are required.
As a profession, Hauling relies on the need for materials to be moved. This can be a corporation with an organized mining operation, a mission from an Agent, or a player looking to have resources moved. You can haul for yourself to buy or sell at the best market price, or you can haul for others so that they don't have to. No matter how it's done, Hauling as a profession should have one goal -- Profit -- and in order to make a profit, others need to trust you to handle their goods.
There are several classes of ships that can be used for Hauling. Which ships are used depend on the pilots skills and needs.
Industrial Class Ships
Also called indy, these are the first ships a Hauler will have at their disposal. They have large cargo holds, and a number of Low slots which can be fitted with Expanded Cargo Hold units to increase their capacity while sacrificing speed. Industrial ships are well suited for most Hauling situations, but vulnerable in low-security areas unless escorted.
Transport Class Ships
Specialized Tech Level 2 Industrial ships. The Transport class consists of a Blockade Runner and a Deep Space transport. The Blockade runner is a smaller ship sporting specific advantages for getting cargo past a hostile blockade. You can also put a cloaking device on it and its nearly impossible to catch you.
- Much faster top speeds, rivaling most cruisers
- More agile
- Goes to warp quickly
- Warps at 9 AU/s so is difficult to intercept
- Uses almost no cap while warping and little cap for using Micro Warpdrive
The Deep Space ships have a larger capacity than their Industrial counterpart, and also sport increased armor and shields but have a much slower velocity. The Deep Space variants also have much higher resistances than the blockade runners (although the blockade runners are decent) so the haulers can take QUITE a beating, especially if you put shield hardeners or extenders on it. Beware speeds in the 40 m/s range when using cargo expanders, but you can fit over 30,000 m3 in the Deep Space transport. The Blockade Runner can hold maybe 8k m3 or so. These Deep Space ships are ideal for mining operations, because they can hold an entire filled jetison can (27k m3) in one trip. If you put a tractor beam on it, you never have to worry about its slow speed when supporting a mining operation.
Freighter Class Ships
The behemoths of Hauling. Slow and sturdy, these ships have a capacity of hundreds of thousands of cubic meters. Freighter Class ships are not for your normal Hauling operations and their Billion-ISK pricetags make them a rare sight in low security space. They are unable to mount ANY modules, so their defenses are base resists on armor and shields of 50k or so. It should also be noted that they can only pick up or drop off cargo while DOCKED, which means no mining support in an asteroid belt.
Jump Freighter Class Ships
These are freighters fitted with Jump Drives for use in transporting equipment past blockades at the 0.0 choke point entrances. With these ships your sales goods can get to 0.0 regions and miners can get their minerals from lucrative 0.0 asteroid fields to Empire markets.
The Orca and Rorqual class vessels are both capable of hauling substantial amounts of material. The Rorqual is generally disliked as it is intended to specialize as a compressed ore jump freighter but its compression ratios are not particularly competitive. The Orca however is the first vessel capable of entering empire space with a corp hangar and ship maintenance bay; while it cannot compete with a freighter for capacity, it can substantially outhaul any other sub-capital ship.
Hauling, as a profession, is far from the most difficult of tasks in EVE. However, the circulation of goods and materials is necessary for the success of the economy.
To begin hauling for a profit, you need only a few things.
- Industrial Class Ship
- Propulsion Upgrades
- Hull Upgrades
This is perhaps the only requirement for successful hauling. The large cargo hold of the Industrial Class ships compared to most other classes makes them the ideal choice for beginning and experienced pilots alike. Sadly, the capacity of these ships is all they really have going for them. High Power slots are limited, at best, and their maximum velocity is limited.
Industrial Class ships are s l o w, and just about anything you do to increase their capacity makes them slower. Afterburners and Microwarpdrives can make salvage and mining work much less painful.
When you make a ship that holds a lot of stuff carry even more stuff, you need to sacrifice something. The only exception to this is through skill bonuses. Expanded Cargohold modules can be used to increase your cargo hold at the expense of maximum velocity or structure strength. Nanofiber Internal Structure modules can be used on Blockade runners to get them into warp as quickly as possible. (check accuracy)
A true corporation acquires a lot of stuff over the course of time, and sometimes that stuff needs to be moved. The basic concepts remain the same, but the contract details depend on the corporation. Are you expected to haul for free -- because that's what you do -- or do you get paid? Are you paid by the load, by the hour, or by some other scale that your corporation has come up with? Are you hauling by yourself, or with a team of haulers?
Just as it does in the real world, involving a corporation in a task can simplify it or over-complicate it, all depending on which side of the operation you're on. The hauling remains the same; you move stuff from one place to another, as directed by your corporation's management. Working on the management end of things, however, can be a logistics nightmare. Keeping a team of Haulers efficient and on task is difficult -- especially when each is controlled by a sentient being wanting to do things its own way on its own time.
Having not yet organized a Corporate Hauling Operation, I will discuss this in greater detail at a later date. -- Achar Farwind
Hauling on your own for a profit can be done two ways: The first, Trading, involves buying goods at a low price and selling them for a higher price at another location. There is an entire skill class dedicated to Trade. The second method, which I will describe in more detail, is transporting items for others. Picture a courier service like FedEx or UPS. Others pay you to carry their goods from one location to another.
To even begin making a profit as a courier, people need to trust you to carry their goods. I can't imagine it would be easy to make a profit this way if you have been known to cheat and steal in the past -- the most you can do is move to a region where most people won't know of your past mistakes, and do everything you can to prevent it from happening again. Once you have made contact with a client you are going to need to ask for, or negotiate, certain information.
What is being transported, how much of it, and its total volume.
Where are the goods currently located? Who will arrange to have them transferred to you? What security level is the system? (Check your map) How many pods have been destroyed in the system in the past hour? In the past 24 hours?
Where are the goods being shipped to? What is the security level of the destination system? How many pods have been destroyed in the destination system in the past hour? In the past 24 hours?
What is the risk involved with the shipment? Is there a high chance of pirate activity in the area? Do you have an escort? If it is a low-risk shipment, or a risk you are willing to take, then the only thing that should hold you back is the length of the trip vs. the profit. Can you make more ISK per jump with a different shipment?
How much will you be paid? Will it be all on delivery or a portion before and after? Who is responsible if your ship is destroyed and the goods are lost? Who pays to replace your ship?
Once all of the questions are out of the way, all that remains is the shipment. Pick up the goods, deliver them, and get paid.
Courier Missions and contracts
Courier Missions, carrying items from one NPC to another, come in two sizes (by cargo size): small and large. Small courier missions can often be run in a frigate. Large cargo courier missions can sometimes be completed with a cruiser, but sometimes are large enough that either an Industrial ship or several runs will be needed.
Courier contracts are a different matter. These are user created contracts people create when they need something hauled. There is no trust necessary because there is a deposit which the courier must pay in order to accept the mission. The game handles all the money in escrow to ensure that all obligations are met.
You can view courier contracts from the Business > Contracts tab at any station, and filter by station, system, region or the entire galaxy. You can sort by freight volume, or payout amount, or deposit.
You can see the start and destination systems on the map before you accept the contract, to make sure you aren't going anywhere you are not willing to go.
Once you see a courier contract you like, you accept it, and the deposit is deducted from your wallet and the goods are put in your items in the station where you need to pick them up. When you deliver the goods to the destination station, you complete the mission. Your collateral is returned, the items disappear, and the reward for doing the mission is added to your wallet.
If you do not complete the contract in the amount of time the customer has chosen, you will default on the contract and not get your collateral back, but you will get to keep the goods. The collateral will almost always be worth more than the goods, as this ensures that the courier contract is completed successfully and the courier does not run off with the goods. It is the courier's full responsibility to deliver the goods in order to get his collateral back in addition to the reward. Reward money is assured upon successful delivery because it must be paid up front by the customer in order to set up the mission. It's a safe and effective way to transport goods using other Eve pilots you don't even know!
Before accepting a courier mission, you should be aware of several scams:
- Cannot dock at contract destination
- Courier contracts can end at player controlled outposts. As restrictions can be set by the owner to allow only certain people to dock, the courier can be excluded from being able to dock. If the courier cannot dock, they cannot complete the courier contract and will be forced to fail the contract or allow it to expire. The worthless cargo will then belong to the courier but they will lose the collateral and receive no payment for completion.
- Nice ship ya gots there... shame if anything happened to it...
- A courier contract must specify a destination. There are only so many ways to get to that destination. If you are waylaid during the journey, you are not only liable for the collateral, but your ship may be at hazard as well. Do not take a courier contract that leads through low-sec or null-sec space unless you know exactly what you are doing, and how you are going to do it.
- Huge cargo is huge
- Be sure that you can actually carry the size of the cargo being couriered in your ship. Some scammers create contracts that can only be completed by a pilot with Caldari Freighter 5 and a Charon, hoping someone with less cargo capacity picks it up.
Additional Tips and Tricks
There are always ways to increase your efficiency at hauling. Training certain skills can increase your ships maximum velocity and even add capacity to your cargo hold. Below are ways to get the most out of your ship.
Increase Your Velocity
Unless you habitually "warp to zero" for the entire trip, an afterburner or microwarpdrive can be useful for getting to the next stargate faster, during those times when you do "AFK hauling". Either module takes up a middle slot, so there's really no reason not to have the best afterburner or MWD on your Hauler, at least in Empire space.
- Train your Racial Industrial skill to increase your ships capacity and velocity at the same time
- Equip your ship with an Afterburner and activate it to boost your speed during the approach. Train skills that make your afterburner more efficient and increase capacitor recharge rate to allow it to run longer
- Equip your ship with a Microwarpdrive, the next step up from the Afterburner. MWD's can increase your velocity up to 550%.
- Equip your ship with Nanofiber modules rather than Expanded Cargohold modules. These increase your ships maximum velocity and maneuverability.