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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Courier Corporations

I have two key risks in my Regional Hauling trading strategy.  Firstly i may buy items in Jita and not be able to sell them for a higher price in Dodixie.  Secondly, i may be ambushed when hauling the items from Jita to Dodixie.

There are plenty of simple things i can do to minimise this second risk such as not travelling on auto-pilot, having undocking and docking bookmarks and keep my cargo of low enough value to make an ambush uneconomic.

If someone was to consider ambushing me (ganking, in Eve parlance) then they know they will lose their ship to the Hi-Sec police (called Concord) and so they will need a second character or account near by to loot my wreak.  Hence, the attacker is making an economic decision firstly and then a military decision secondly.

My ship, a Catalyst, is not strong hence it would not take a big ship and weapons to gank me before the Concord police could come to my aid.  Thus, i am limiting my cargo value to 100m ISK.  Below that i can quite happily travel on autopilot.  Above that i need to take care.  My hauling strategy is to firstly avoid being scanned (will only last so long) and secondly not to make myself a target.

Or i can use a player corporation that is dedicated to hauling cargo for other players.  They know what they are doing and are very good at it.  They have made it into their own specialised industry.  There are two corporations that i know of: PushX Industries and Red Frog Freight.

Hence i am trying PushX industries for the first time to transport 130m ISK of cargo for me from Jita to Dodixie (which i can sell for about 184m ISK in Dodixie).  It will cost me 5.8m ISK (=3.2% of sales), so will increase my cost of selling by 2x – but given the margins i am already making and given the Courier Cost will only rise once the collateral gets over 1bn ISK this is a good plan.  To put this in perpective, lets assume i gave a contract to haul 1bn ISK of cargo that i could sell for a 20% markup then the hauling fees would only be 0.5% of sales (=5.8m/1.2bn).

In Eve Online the game mechanics allow for Courier Contracts between individuals and Corporations (player to player, player to corporation, corporation to corporation, corporation to player).  The contract is protected by using collateral – when a contract is accepted collateral must be put up by the accepting player (which is pre-determined by the player setting up the contract, as was the award fee) which is returned when the contract is completed, or goes to the player that set up the contract if the contract fails.

PushX Industries is a corporation that has been set up by players to courier items for other players.  They have the skills, ships and knowledge to make this work.  They charge by the number of warps they need to make (number of jumps +1) with reference to the size of the cargo and amount of collateral.  They can courier across Hi-Sec, Low-Sec and Null-Sec – they charge more for couriering outside of Hi-Sec.  They protect their couriers by using player alts to do the couriering (so not the named alts in the corporation) which protects them from spies and war declarations.  If a character of mine had sufficient skills and i enjoyed couriering i could apply to join.

At 13:20 Eve time on 26th May i set up a contract to courier 130m ISK of items (only taking up 104m3 of space) from Jita to Dodixie.  Contract set to expire in 3 days and complete within 3 days.  If the items are delivered on time i will pay 5.8m ISK.  The collateral i put on the contract was 130m ISK (which i will get if the contract is accepted but the delivery fails).


By 15:49 Eve time on the same day it had been delivered:

 
and an email sent to me:


All in two and a half hours, which is quick.

Certainly, for cargo over 100m ISK this is will now be fully integrated into my Regional Hauling strategy.

6 comments:

  1. Hey Croda! I trialed and bought time for my account using your referral link. I would like to get in touch with you in game. Look me up: Michiyo Hamano

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  2. thanks Adam, I have you as an ingame contact now.

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  3. Great blog Croda. I enjoy reading about your trading strategy, thank you for sharing. First time player, 3 days in...

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  4. I'm using couriers more and more these days myself and Push Industries has been great (though their prices have gone up since this post).

    For doing your own hauling, I recommend training Capacitor Management and Capacitor systems Operation both to at least level 4 and spending the Isk for a Leopard. It's only got 10m3 of cargo capacity but for low m3 items that's plenty. It has almost no align time and warps at 10 A.U. per second which means that by the time the de-cloaking animation completes, you're halfway to the next gate. Using one of these I was able to make a Dodixie - Jita run in about 9 minutes.

    *note* you need the skills mentioned above or it's capacitor won't be enough and you'll find yourself stopping to recharge partway through most jumps.

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    Replies
    1. correction.. that's 20 A.U. per second

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    2. one day, when I have time, I am thinking about looking at the business model and returns a Hauler can make. Sometimes I think it is low, others I think it may be ok.

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