Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To Frog or not to Frog

I was very dismissive with outside Courier Contracts where you hire other people to haul for you. Moving your assets is a key thing in trading and I believed that you must do it on your own. I'm not so restrictive now and see reasons when it's better to just hire outside haulers.

The main hauler for hire force in EVE is the Red Frog Freight. I'm using their service now with mixed results. But before I discuss the results, a little know-how how to set up a contract. It starts with right-clicking an item and choosing "create contract", then you get the interface:
The list on the third page comes up when you type part of the destination station into the proper field and press search.

You can review your contract using the menu:

Now the results: shall you use outside hauler or not? One jump costs 350K for Red Frog and picking up is 500K. Assuming 10 jumps average distance, you pay 400K for every jump. A jump takes about a minute, so you are paying 24M/hour for the service, money that you could keep if you'd haul yourself. Of course "hauling yourself" is not without costs, you must learn skills (about 10 days after you got your industrial ship which you probably will do anyway), and a freighter costs 1.2B. You must haul 50 hours to regain just your investment.

But the reason why I will get my own freighter for sure and stop using RF in the moment I do is time. If you trade well, your capital has a very fast rotation. Every ISK I invest today will worth about 1.05 tomorrow. 5.4 billion% yearly interest rate? Yes please! Of course it's just in the phase while you are capital-limited, you can't upkeep that rate forever as you reach the point when your time or simply the market demand for your items limit you and no amount of capital will increase your income. However this limit is in the range of hundred billions, until then you can count with the 5% daily profit.

Yesterday these nice frog people sat on my 1-jump transport whole day. 0.5B items were waiting for them to get it to Jita for sale. That's 0.5B I couldn't spend on buying items to resale. 25M profit lost on this one damn jump. I could haul it myself in 2 minutes if I had my Charon. 750M ISK/hour.

So outside couriers are not the evil, using them doesn't make you a trading failure (like my "I pay 10M for a lvl 3 security mission" offers make me a combat failure). But having to rely on them is a serious profit loss. If you play trading seriously, having your own freighter is a must. You can still pay others to haul some high-volume low value thing, like 1B tritanium but you must be able to do it yourself when you need it instead of waiting for days until they do it for you.

However until you have your freighter, Couriers are your only choice to participate in the large-volume business.

Business report: Buy+sell+cash+materials being manufactured: 2.2B (0.4B gift, I gave 0.1B to my girlfriend. I'll gift away the gifts I got). After discussions and some player advices I added Amarr Cruiser V to my perception-willpower remap, to be able to fly an armor logistics. That increases the length of that remap to 160 days. 5 months and a week. The time scale of this game is insane compared to other games.


Anonymous said...

It depends what you want to with the Logi, mostly its only Basi/Scim's that are used, so personly i would stick with the Basi.


Anonymous said...

Guardian is a must if you are asking me. I was going to tell you that some posts ago but decided that you will find it yourself.

Anonymous said...

Staging also affects break even. Unless you have multiple freighters and accounts, then It might take you a couple of hours to make two jumps into Jita if your freighter and freighter pilot are in Hek.

Anonymous said...

Freighters are way slower, expect 3 minutes/jump.

Anonymous said...

Red Frog is good, but you can haul a lot cheaper in highsec by making a public contract. Our fleet uses Guardians and Domi's, not Basilisks.

Care said...

I don't know what you intend to do in the future, I would definatly recommend being able to fly both shield and armor fleets when needed. Like every game that undergoes updates, there is a 'Flavor of the Month'-ship/fleet/setup.

As Maiev said: The demand for Basi pilots is larger. No doubt about that, but the supply is also larger compared to the Guardian. A properly fit guardian is much harder to accomplish than a Basi, which makes Guardian pilots more rare. In terms of supply and demand, I'd say the equilibrium is higher.

Vincent Trevane said...

Try 'The Courier Hub' mailing list for more exposure to public courier contracts.

IO said...

Regarding logistics - depends on what you are planning to do.

Basilisks are used only in Incursions. As far as my experience goes, you have equal chance of getting in both in Scimi or Basi, though ultra-expensive blitz fleets usually use 2x Basis with 5 reppers.

Scimitars are 0.0 logistical backbone. No one flies Basi in 0.0.

Guardians or Oneiros are similar (Oneiros was buffed recently), you have equal chances of getting into Incursions, and apparently both are used in 0.0 recently. Guardians are more popular though in PVP.

Fade Toblack said...

You were moving ships - why not just pilot them the one jump and repackage? You could've done it in a couple of hours that way.

By the way, you can get things moved quicker by Red Frog by offering a tip/premium over the base price. Everything will be moved in the contracted time, but their pilots snap up those contracts first.

Basilisks are popular for PvE - specifically incursions at the moment, simply because players tend to use shield-tanked fits for PvE. In PvP Basilisks are used, but are less popular - Scimitars are more popular as they can move around a battlefield easier and work independently. Moving to armour-tanking then Guardians have traditionally been the only choice as the Oneiros sucked. Armour HAC fleets are very popular as they can move fast and hit hard.

So what should you train for? Entirely depends where you see your EvE career going and what fleets you expect to support. If you're only going to run logistics ships (you've claimed that you're never going to fire a gun) then I'd plan on being able to eventually fly them all.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention one big advantage of curier missions: risk mitigation.

If you setup proper collateral you will get your money back even if somebody blows up the curier. That alone is worth some of the fee imho.

P.S.: Collateral is an important part of setting up a curier mission. You should realy explicitly mention it in your "walkthrough".

Anonymous said...

Im thinking currently only one thing:
IF their bussiness is running well, then they will control the market

they can look into the packages. They will know what items are traded at which routes.

Using them, is giving vital trade secrets away for free.

JustinAndrewJohnson said...

24mil per hour needs to be compared to one's opportunity cost. That opportunity cost is partially in the lost mobility of capital that you correctly discussed, but one needs also to know what their opportunity cost for those 10 minutes (1 minute per jump) is from other activities.

For reference on opportunity costs, lvl 4 mission running (a baseline of low-skill opportunity cost, the equivalent of wow dailies) yields about 25mil per hour when loot, salvage and LP are accounted for. Nullsec anomalies give 30-130mil per hour. Incursion running with a good fleet gives about 110mil per hour. Quality exploration in nullsec can yield up to 200mil per hour. Market, trading, and hauling opportunity cost is much harder to calculate of course, but one can assume it is higher than these provided values (else you are irrationally choosing your behavior).

All this is to establish that if you ignore the capital immobility cost of waiting (which goes to zero as your assets surpass many billions and your average order-size becomes small relative to your total assets), then it is irrational to actually do the shipping yourself unless you find yourself with other economies of scale in shipping (i.e. you make it an efficient part of your business strategy).

AureoBroker said...

Buy a "cheap" freighter char when you can, if you really want one.
Will be around 1.2b, if prices are stable.

antronics said...

..Gevlon, your last two posts have really let me down. I'll keep it short and sweet.

Opportunity cost. On the time spent hauling AND on the isk invested in your space truckin' ship. Slow boating it across 15 jumps each way, two times a day, every day, is no fun. Trust me, I've done it.

Risk aversion. How many trips would it take to pay for your goods and ship were you to be ganked? RFF is insurance.

I used to haul my materials to my manufacturing station, then haul the goods to market. Not in one trip, often in 2-4 trips. Every day, 15 jumps each way. 60 to 120 jumps a day. No fun. Don't believe me? Try it for your self.

DSJ said...

Where services like Red Frog really come into play is when you are not dealing with (1) freighter run into JITA but 15-20 and you are dealing with capital outlays 3 magnitudes larger than what you are doing now. At that point you simply can't move your stock in the time frames needed (especially if you are supplying markets in 0.0) for a timely turnaround.

Kristopher said...

Anon 08:31:

Freighters can jump pretty damned fast if you have an alt with a strong stasis web ( faction web ) and a fast ship fleeted with them.

Target the freighter, web it ( CONCORD does not intervene in intra-fleet actions ), and the freighter's required jump speed is lowered by a multiple of the percent the web removed from max speed.

Accidentally webbing a target instead of scrambling it is the bane of FCs ... but you can use this effect to your advantage.

The really important thing is to never carry enough valuable stuff to justify suicide gankers expending several Tornados to take your freighter down.