Logistics: The Greatest Limitation

When this current test began, we were limited primarily by our ability to produce things. There was very little established infrastructure and most everyone had only a few production facilities.

As time has passed, our production capabilities have massively increased. We are able to utilize all Pioneer and (most) Settler facilities and these facilities are still being planted in vast numbers.

We are now primarily limited by our capital. Technician, Engineer, and Scientist facilities are much more expensive to plant and staff than Pioneer and Settler facilities. Gas giants are being settled at great cost.

Whilst our overall wealth is increasing, the capital available for investment is not increasing at the same rate. More colonies are being founded, and we are heading towards our next limitation.

Logistics.

Our fundamental limitation is our paltry fleets. Trade and growth will severely hindered by our ability to move things to the places we want it, when we want it there. The introduction of local markets has temporarily alleviated this and slightly pushed back the encroaching limitation.

Even so, we will soon reach the point where we cannot grow any more because we cannot move things around.

We may never beat this limitation, but we can push its limits.

To this end a far greater degree of cooperation will be required. Colonies will be pushed to specialization. There will be no such thing as an independent colony - indeed, new colonies will need to coordinated with other players. Entire supply chains must be planted together.

These are daunting words, and reflect a paradigm shift in how we view our economy. We can use words such as these all day, yet they ultimately need to be transferred into practice to have meaning.

The Now
Currently, a play may have FRM, and INC on Promitor to grow their GRN and convert it to C. The C is then shipped to another colony 177 units at a time to Montem where a player has an EXT for FEO and LST, an SME for making FE, then a PP1 to make BSE. Now, this works. We know it works precisely because this is what we are already doing!

The Future
Bearing in mind that logistics (shipping capacity) will be our primary limitation, how can we improve on the current model?

Lets get the first player to only have FRM on their Promitor colony. Why? Fertile worlds are limited - there are only 10! As such, GRN and MAI are fundamentally limited by this. If we truly want to exploit the galaxy, we must recognize our scarcities.

This player then can ship 400 GRN to Montem. Another player can purchase this GRN and convert it to C on Montem. Now, with the addition of a single colony we have more than doubled the amount of C that is getting to Montem. 177 units of C has been increased to 400 units and the amount of ships required has stayed the same. This represents a 125% increase in efficiency - achieved simply by thinking differently.

With specialization of colonies, we can achieve up to 28.4% increase in production efficiency by utilizing the full expert bonus. Further, by specializing planets and placing a player-built COGC there, we could gain a further 25% efficiency of production.

PE requires 2.39t and 3m^3 of inputs to produce 2t and 2m^3 of outputs per cycle? So where is it most efficient to produce under the new model?

On a rocky world, very close by to a gas giant producing H.

H can be produced and shipped in quantities of 400 - enough for 200 cycles. If we were to ship C to this processing facility, we could bring in 177 units - the H and C shipments are not in a nice ratio.

Alternatively, we could work together, and C could be produced on-location. Now 400 GRN can be bought in and converted to 400 C - we now need 2 H shipments per GRN shipment. This is not ideal, because we want things to be in balance (as all things should).

So, we bring in 200 GRN to make the 200 C we need to fill the 200 cycles we get from each H shipment. The remaining 200t space we have can be filled with consumables and prefabs for growth.

This ship will then travel from the GRN source to the INC/BMP colony, then on to the H colony. Flying GRN, prefabs, and consumables on this leg. On its return, H can be taken to the INC/BMP colony, then PE on to wherever it needs to go.

We now have 4 colonies which are involved in this process, gaining expert efficiency bonuses and all being supplied and maintained by a single vessel.

Fundamentally, we wish to move the most possible per trip and minimize the distance and time traveled without any meaningful cargo.

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Fundamentally only have 2 ships and no way to buy/build more will limit you in the long term.
However with solid planning you can still get a long way with what you have.
You will just have to plan supply runs every x days and ensure your colony is fully stocked by that run.

The easiest way I see to get past this bottleneck is to make it so we can buy additional cargo ships the same as we start with. Buying a new ship with no fuel means you need to buy fuel as well, etc.
Wouldn’t think it would be difficult to add ship yards to the market planets.
Or maybe just a ship category in the market.

Long term of course we should have the ability to build ships in various configurations in our own ship yards.

As for encouraging the cooperation your talking about that is what the local markets are for. Guaranteed contracts for goods at a future point in time. i.e. 7 days to deliver 400 GRN.

I just started playing relatively recently so I just assumed these things were planned down the road and hadn’t worried about it. I figure it will be 3 months before it could possibly be a concern for me.

The ability to construct additional ships is a planned feature.

Unfortunately, I think it will be some time before this is available. New ships will also likely be quite expensive.

GDP (the corp of which I am a member) is planning to create a functional economy outside of faction space utilizing local markets.

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That sounds like a very interesting project. :grinning:

Does running specialized bases provide enough income and interest? I’ve found that when I make PE and sell it on the exchange, the market price is very close to the cost of production. I have no special advantage over other PE producers on the same planet, so it’s a race to the bottom. I also suspect that making only one thing and trying to underbid everyone else making the same commodity would become tiresome. Running my own supply chain is much more interesting and provides good profits.

Is it your intent to create a command economy with centralized decision-making? In theory, such a thing could build things that our current economy does not - but how do you plan to incentivize players to participate?

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Thanks for your questions. You have raised points for which answers are required for the success of the project.

The project is currently in its early stages, and we are still planning some segments of the beginning setup.

The resources of the galaxy, and specifically the area which GDP has claimed, has been charted and we have developed a tool for searching for desired resources. As such, this is a system which may be solved.

Primarily, we seek to implement an efficient logistics network in order to minimise the amount of travel required. As such, production clusters will be designed and implemented via analysis of natural resource clusters and selecting those clusters which provide the most effective solution.

For example, in designing the cluster which will produce basic prefabs, we have identified a system which contains feo/gal on one planet and lst on a neighbouring planet. We will thus have feo/gal extraction, sf fuel refining, smelting, prefab production, and flx production in this cluster. The imports required are H, amm, grn, o, and consumables. Exports are roughly balanced with imports - sf, fe, lst, flx, and prefabs.

This basic layout can be extended to pe (c and H already present), alo processing (just needs alo), mcg (just needs sio), gl (if sio present), light prefabs (importing pg). Basically, we’ve found our montem with the benefit of local, cheap sf production.

In terms of distribution of profits, we are developing a planetary specific price list and shipping/freight guide. The basic guidelines are that 1) a facility should profit enough to pay off its construction cost, its habitation requirements, and its share of the CM cost in 60 days 2) shipping/hauling should be profitable and allow enough profits to afford a CM every 60 days per vessel, and 3) all products produced on the designated planets using the designated recipes and supply chains shall have equal profitability.

So effectively, once we find a good production solution, we ensure that, no matter which part you contribute to, you will be just as profitable as everyone else.

The initial solution and price list will encompass everything required to construct pioneer and settler buildings, and to create new colonies.

As we have full control over the pricing (no mm limitations) we can slightly devalue our production relative to faction space in order to encourage domestic over-production and promote exports (more profits when exporting to faction space. We can achieve this because we will only require very limited imports, if any, from faction space.

We can achieve devaluation by simultaneously lowering the prices of all produced items. This retains growth capabilities because you will still be able to grow at the same rate - you’re absolute profits are lower, but it’s proportionally cheaper to expand. As the entire groundwork economy (consumables, prefabs etc) are produced domestiaclly this is possible. With devaluation comes increased buying power in GDP space - further increasing our logistics efficiency because you can now buy products by the ship rather than in limited amounts

Thus, production capability and the efficiency of our logistics network becomes our primary limitations. Our ability to grow is directly proportional to our ability to meet these two factors.

I hope this answers your questions.

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I am excited to participate in this experiment in space socialism. How do I join?

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The easiest option is to join the logistics server that we are currently in the process of setting up in conjunction with NLT Consortium - https://discord.gg/upRBPHS

We feel it is important that shipping can be easily coordinated. We need to get a higher population and details for more Local Markets. We are still deciding on the best direction to take the server and how it will be structured.

To apply to join GDP, head over to https://discord.gg/brZdTd7 and speak with some of our members.