Fleet carriers are brilliant but the official documentation is a bit lacking. We welcome all sorts of questions from new (and not so new) fleet carrier owners over at the Fleet Carrier Owners Club on Discord, and as the Feds just paid out multi-billions of credits for crushing privacy / protecting democracy, and the PTN just did a whopping booze cruise, there are plenty of new carrier owners discovering the quirks of carrier management the hard way.
We thought we'd share seven of the most important insights for any new carrier owner, based on the questions we get asked the most, to help you make the most of your shiny new carrier.
To maximise your fuel efficiency, reduce your carrier weight. Fuel use increases with carrier weight: for every 400T used on the carrier, an extra 1T tritium is used per jump. However, commodities stored on the docked ship you're in don't count – so you can save around 2T tritium per jump by storing 790T in a Cutter or T9 while you jump. Over long journeys this adds up – and you're probably topping up the depot from the ship anyway, so you might as well keep spare fuel in the ship rather than on the carrier.
Close any open buy orders before setting a jump. The allocated cargo space for open buy orders counts towards the weight of your carrier. Because fuel consumption is directly related to carrier weight, you use more fuel with open buy orders. Close them all before jumping.
Cancel a sell order if your stock runs out – don't just leave it there. When you run out of stock of something you were selling from the carrier market, the sell order doesn't cancel itself. If you store more of that commodity, it will continue to be for sale at the price you previously set. To "cancel" the sell order, set a buy order of the same commodity, confirm it, then clear the buy order.
You can remotely manage almost all carrier functions. You can always access the Carrier Management screen from your right-hand panel, no matter how far you are from the carrier. You can remotely do almost everything, including setting jumps and managing the market. The only things you can't do remotely are transferring tritium from the cargo hold directly to the depot (someone docked on the carrier needs to do that) and change the carrier's livery (name, paintjob, ATC voice etc.) To install or uninstall services, buy or sell shipyard/outfitting stock, or change your crew members, the carrier needs to be in a carrier adminstration system, but all of this can still be done remotely.
You not need a shipyard or outfitting installed to use those facilities on your own carrier. You can store up to 40 ships and up to 120 modules (up to your global limit) on your own carrier, as well as switch between ships and change outfitting loadouts. If you want other commanders to be able to do these things, you'll need shipyard and outfitting installed.
Uninstall services you don't need for 100% credit refund and saved weight. For example, if you're not selling ships or transporting other players' fleets, you don't need that shipyard. Aside from 6,500,000 cr per week upkeep, it costs 500,000,000 cr to install and weighs 3,000T – meaning every jump you make uses an extra 8T of tritium. If you're not using it, just remove it at a carrier administration system. You'll get a full refund of 500,000,000 cr, reclaim 3,000T cargo space and save not just 6,500,000 cr per week in upkeep but 8T tritium per jump.
Use third-party tools to take the guesswork out of carrier management. If you're trying to work out what services you can afford, try out the Fleet Carrier Calculator. If you're planning a journey that's more than just a few jumps, check out the Spansh fleet carrier router – the newly updated version calculates how much tritium you'll need. Become familiar with the amazing Inara and eddb to find profitable trade routes, mined mineral sale prices, nearest fleet carrier admin system… well, pretty much everything.
Any experienced carrier owners reading, please leave your own top tips for new carrier owners in the comments.
BONUS TIP: find a community of knowledgeable, friendly people who love answering questions about fleet carriers. Here's one I'm fond of: the Fleet Carrier Owners Club on Discord has 10,300 members and counting. It's a positive, lo-salt environment to ask questions, promote and participate in carrier trips, organise expeditions and lots more. We give away 5 billion credits a month to our members, too. Whether you're an owner, a nearly-owner or someone who loves taking free trips around the galaxy, come and join us! Also on Reddit: r/FCOC