Therefore if the cargo was available for free at the origin the minimum selling price at destination is 0,000 per ton, or 0 per kilogram.The implication is that only very high value cargo can be profitably shipped interstellar.

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Sometimes these trader cultures in large clan-ships have a Thalassocracy, where they have a monopoly on trade since they control all access to space.

If people living on planets want to engage in interstellar trade, they have to go through the thalassocrats.

Using a long series of estimations whose details can be found in Rick's article he concludes that the annual operating cost for an airliner is about $30 million (not counting fuel, landing fees, and taxes).

An airliner's purchase price is $100 million so one year's uses costs about one-third of the purchase price.

The leader of the thalassocrats is of course called the thalassiarch.

This section is basically a rough outline of Rick Robinson's Interstellar Trade: A Primer.

That is, assuming a full cargo turnover at each port of call, how many one-way runs can the ship make? From departure planet orbit to FTL flight to arrival planet orbit. Assumption: each trip requires one month for servicing, maintenance, selling the cargo, buying new cargo for the next run.

This makes each trip four months from departure to departure, or three cargos per year.

You'd probably be better off reading the full article but some people want executive summaries.

Rick starts with certain assumptions and follows them to various conclusions about the interstellar economy.

With creative maintenance, the service life might be longer than 30 years, see below.