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Lot of ships in the sky.


Number of containers in US last year = 6,000,000

Shipping container, average cubic capacity approx 70m
Traveller tonnage of shipping container 70/14 = 5 displacement tons.

Number of containers carried by a far trader = 13

Number of containers carried by 20,000 ton bulk J2 frieghter = 3000

Number of visits by Far traders to handle US cargo = 461000 or 1200 per day, 50 per hour, almost 1 per minute.

Number of visits by 20,000 ton bulk frieghters to move same load = 2000 or 5 per day, one every 4 hours.

The whole of the world will easily triple this lot.
That means if 90% of our world shipping is handled by the big lines we will be having 14 bulk frieghters and 300 Free and Far traders a day in our skys.

This is only an approximation and is not exact nor does it include air shipping and non container cargo such as liquids/gases/ore/grain etc.

That is a lot of ships in the sky !

Thanks for posting this - very interesting info.

So, take the whole world, include all other shipping methods. I wonder whta percentage of goods would export shipping?

What percentage would actually translate into off planet shipping? Much of the current shipping volume would remain as is.
Where would all this shipping go to or from?
How many high ports and down ports wound this traffic need?
How can I get the Customs contract?
Extrapolation. Earth system. Jump tech level.

Population double current (at least). Colonies on moon, mars, Lagrange points, significant asteroid mining activities, gas mining of giants, outer planet colonies/mines/research.

Non jump shipping double current allowing for higher population base and for volume of shipping to and off world. Bulk of "dirty" manufacturing done off world and either shipped back or moved around system to where needed. Also lets not forget the tourist industry for boats running all over the place.

I would allow that 10% of total system shipping would be outsystem jumps with import/exports of goods and people, maybe more depending on trade needs of surrounding worlds.

This will reduce the jump traffic but massively increase the insystem trafic with regular runs to everywhere people are. Commuter runs to orbit and the moon, regular mars and asteroid runs etc.

Buy shares in intra system and orbital traffic control companies :)
A lot of ships in the sky - I have always wondered about this myself. That's just the merchant ships that were extrapolated. What about Navy, Local Militia or COAAC, X-Boat and Courier Types, Scout ships, and civilian ships? And those are just the starships. What about in-system ships (non-starships)? I have always pictured a High Port like the ring around the planet in Starship Troopers. And thousands of ships in stacked layered parking orbits all over. With shuttles and tugs and ferrys flying back and forth. SDBs patroling like police cars. Traffic control would be horrible. If the planet had a concentrated population in just one spot, then I would think all Orbital Ops would be directly above this spot. Would there be a "rush hour"? Would all ships that can land on the planet be routed around the High Port?


Intrasystem traffic. Offworld population of billion plus. If you have shuttles/launches used as we use long range busses then 100s of them everywhere. Shortrange cargo shipping will not be big, more likely a few big ones to main colonies and lots of under 1000 ton ones for the 100s of stations/bases/mines/colonies/ships etc that want post and cargo runs.
How many coast guard and harbour boats are there at a busy port, anyone live near new york port ?
High ports. Considering that you would have more intersystem than intersteller hauling I would think multiple high ports covering the main population/trade areas (US, Europe, India, Pac rim).
Traffic lanes, parking orbits, docking queues, etc. Think how busy the customs people will be.
This is for a single world goverment. If we still have the multiple trade blocks we have at present then add a lot more boats for security to keep an eye on the other power blocks and make sure they don't do anything hostile.
Which ever way you look at it any high population world is going to have vast numbers of boats and ships in its skies.
Intersystem shipping is going to depend on how many people you have in system yet not on the main world. If the bulk of your population is on the main world with the remainder only accounting for say, 5% of the system population - then it is a safe bet that you're not going to see as much intersystem stuff.

Problem is that the Imperium is not a direct correlation with modern US. Communications is
slow, dukes are "on their own", etc...

Also, I lived in Long Beach for a while and saw
several CG boats. Its going to depend on the port
and whether there is a regional presence.

I would think there would be a lot of intersystem traffic in any system with the mainworld not around the system Gas Giant(s). Plus miners in asteroid belts. And all the tankers and bulk carriers to move the commodities. But then I'm of the idea that a Gas Giant won't just have an SDB hiding in it, but factories and refineries and shipping posts...