Besides exploration (mobile Cartographer vendor) what use is there in a Fleet Carrier?

I've been looking into the Fleet Carriers and wondering if they have any use whatsoever. Would love it if someone could justify why get a Fleet Carrier, or explain what I am missing (if I am).

I understand the value of having a Fleet Carrier as a mobile outpost for repairs, refuel, rearm and selling cartography data while out in the black. That part is blatantly obvious.

But for everything else?

I see some carriers have flagged themselves with a role, like Mercenary, Smuggling, Mining. And I wonder what exactly does that mean? Is it just a fancy string of text you can put on your fleet carrier to make it look cool, but has no actual function?

In an attempt to figure this out I docked with an FC that was flagged as "Smuggling". Alright… so I land there… and… nothing. Just some refuel and rearm, an empty Commodity Market and really nothing of note at all.

This is what I've looked into so far.

  1. Mining — Sounds cool. But why would I need an FC for this? I'll just find a system with asteroid rings and a station in it and then just dock there and sell. Super easy. I'm not about to mine 25000 units of X ore/mineral anyways in one session, or even 10 sessions, so just selling off the cargo as I go works just fine. I need to go back for limpets anyways, unless I craft them, in which case I need to mine materials anyways. Are there super rare ore outside of the bubble worth getting, sort of like in EVE Online where the "good shit" is not found in the bubble/high-sec but found in low-sec, nullsec and wormholes? My conclusion so far is that FC for mining = worthless.
  2. Bounty Hunting — Also sounds neat. But usually when bounty hunting it's a two fold thing. a) improve standing / security rating in system and b) earn money. This means bounty hunting is being done in a populated system anyways and it doesn't matter if you fly to an FC parked in system or a station in the system. I don't see how an FC helps improve your efficiency with bounty hunting at all. Are bounties in anarchy/unpopulated systems higher than those in hazres sites and assassination targets etc? If so, maybe an FC could be parked in a system with no stations… otherwise… FC for bounty hunting = worthless.
  3. Smuggling — Well, only way to do smuggling in this game is via missions anyways. You take a mission, fly illicit cargo undetected to a station and receive mission payout as reward. Stealing cargo and selling it to black market isn't really smuggling. It's "oh crap, I got some stolen stuff I need to get rid off… lets sell it to this black market guy who pays you half of the galactic average for the item". Likewise flying to a system and buying slaves then "smuggling" slaves into a station where they are illegal does not work either. Cause noone is buying them. And if there is a black market you can sell them for half the galactic average, i.e. lose money on the transaction. So how does an FC flagged as "Smuggling" do anything whatsoever for you? Does it have a mobile black market? If so, how does that really improve your efficiency considering the huge cost of running an FC and the low price you get for selling to black markets? So again, FC for Smuggling = worthless.
  4. Trading — This is really the only one where I see a small opportunity. I guess you could park an FC in an extraction economy system since most extraction stations are outposts and only have medium pads thus limiting how much, typically gold, silver, platinum etc, you can transport out of there in a single ship. With an FC nearby I suppose you could use a medium pad ship (Python) and just load up goods in the FC, then warp to an industrial or similar economy station and offload there using a Type9 or similar. However, this seems extremely niche. Are there other ways to use an FC for trading purposes that I am not seeing? So far FC for trading = very limited.
  5. Commodity Market on FC — what in the world is the point of this? So you can buy items for whatever price on another commodity market then put them up for sale in your FC. Which means you have to put them up for sale at either marked up prices (then why would anyone buy the items) or somehow obtain the items cheap someplace, warp to another system where they sell for good money and put them up for sale there at a price that would encourage others to buy from your FC and sell to whatever NPC station. But why wouldn't you just sell the items yourself to that NPC station and reap the full profit? I don't understand the purpose of a commodity market on an FC at all. The ONLY thing I can think of is using it as a mobile base out in the black in a remote system which, for some reason, has players hanging out and buy ore/minerals for scumbag dirt cheap prices there, then go to bubble and sell . Am I missing something? To me it seems Commodity Market = worthless.

Would love to hear some insights into this.

5 billion for a fleet carrier and 10-25mill weekly upkeep for a thingy that doesn't help you in any way, shape or form (except exploration) seems like a gargantuan waste of time and effort.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/kj0ggd/besides_exploration_mobile_cartographer_vendor/

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