Jump freighters are a
magical ship juicy kill waiting to happen that transports massive quantities of goods across null-sec via the mechanic known as jumping to cynosural fields. Someone more familiar with jump freighters should write a more detailed article on how to use them here:
I don't know how this page went more than a year without anyone at least mentioning the basics.
Jump freighters are big, juicy, defenseless targets for literally everyone, so there are a few things you should know to keep yours alive. I suggest you heed this advice if you don't want to lose an ~8bil ship plus whatever the slaves in your cargo are worth. Seriously peruse this killboard for jump freighters https://zkillboard.com/group/902/ and notice that they die fairly often, in all types of space, and that they are often worth as much as a supercarrier, so:
Don't fly one unless you're sober, can afford to lose it, and are paranoid about losing it. If you're careful you should be literally unkillable in one of these barring disconnects and other server-fuckery.
You're gonna need at least two separate accounts, one is your jumpy boy, the other is a cyno alt. The jump freighter pilot (JF from now on) should obviously be able to fly the ship, but you're also gonna want some decent hull/armor fitting skills, as well as Jump Drive Calibration V if you can bear the two month train (it makes your life easier and safer, so it's worth it), and Jump Fuel Efficiency as high as you can go, cause fuel costs eat up your bottom line and you want money and TEST wants you to provide affordable goods to their markets.
As far as the cyno alt goes, it can be fairly basic with the bare minimum being a rookie ship and a cyno; however, I personally recommend being able to fit T2 webs, and a daredevil, but that's up to you. It will save your butt in highsec though, which is ironically where you are most vulnerable.
Aside from those two accounts, you may want to have additional characters for things like exit cynos, a highsec only hauler so your JF doesn't get put at risk (although you could just use your JF pilot for this, cause they won't be in the JF), and a scout. You can get by with just the two accounts though, and having too many can get really expensive.
Okay, so obviously you're going to need a jump freighter, “But which one?” you may ask, “Don't they all do the same thing?” and yes they all do the same thing, that is to say they all transport massive amounts of goods across huge regions of space ignoring any and all would be gatecampers (in their element that is), but they each have a different flavor and fuel.
Note: all following stats are given with the assumption that all relevant skills are maxed out on an unfit hull.
My personal favorite is the Ark. It looks the best out of all of them in my objectively correct opinion, and it can also do this weird gimmick where you fit deadspace adaptive nano plates to get nearly as much tank as a bulk-headed ansher with no loss in cargo capacity. Truly a product of Amarrian genius. It's also a pretty middle-road JF not being the best at anything, but not being the worst either.
The Caldari carry on their tradition of having the best in class cargo capacity in their brutally industrial brick of a ship. It is the biggest gas guzzler of the bunch though. And doesn't have much tank comparatively. Still, if you want pure cargo capacity, this is the ship for you.
The Ansher is the answer to the question “How do I survive a full Nyx volley?” this ship has a whopping 900k EHP when fit with bulkheads. It also seems to be the most popular jump freighter. Despite only having the second highest fuel requirement, it's actually the most expensive to fuel, with a full jump at max skills coming in at about 2m. The others only cost about 2/3 that amount. Bear in mind that prices fluctuate. (It's popularity may be because the Gallente hauler line has specialized ships for hauling specialized commodities. As a result, many people train down the Gallente Industrial line, and would naturally progress to the Gallente Freighter and JF. This popularity may drive fuel prices up).
Nomads seem to get ganked a lot more than the others, perhaps because of their squish, but they are the most “nimble” and fuel efficient of all the jump freighters. They also somewhat resemble those weird jawa sandcrawlers from Star Wars.
Honestly though, fuel prices change, if you get tackled and you have no help on the way you're gonna die no matter how much tank you have, and at the end of the day, you're gonna be spending most of your time ship spinning like usual, so pick the one you like to look at the most.
“Hah! Fitting diversity, on a hauling ship, that's rich” - Probably CCP at some point There's really only five modules you're gonna be looking at, and you should absolutely keep three of each on you at all times even if you never use some. They are as follows:
Personally, I wouldn't use warp accelerators or I-stabs, but some people like them. You can also fit some other weird shit like nanos, or overdrive injectors, but why you would ever want to, I can't fathom. I will give a special shoutout to A-type adaptive nano plates on an Ark because it shows some level of creative thinking when it comes to these annoyingly simple ships.
Generally speaking, you should use jump econs when you're jumping, bulkheads when you're in highsec, and only use expanders as needed. If you only need one expander to hold your fatass together, then for god's sake use the other slots for more useful mods as the situation demands.
Cynos can be as cheap as you want, or as expensive as you want. It's totally up to you. Bear in mind that if you are using a racial rookie ship that you legit can't even fuel one cyno in the Amarr corvette without an expanded cargohold, even at Cynosuaral Field Theory 5.
If you're just using rookie ships I would recommend that you at least have an instalock webbing frigate at your lowsec border stop so you can web your ship into warp into and through highsec, drastically reducing the amount of time you spend entering warp and therefor vulnerable.
Something like a max skill Daredevil with a couple T2 Webs and a scripted Sensor Boosters should do perfectly. It might even be a bit overkill, but safety is priority number one.
So, you just spent several billion isk on a jump freighter in Jita, and you have no idea what to do next. First things first, don't undock until this simple checklist is complete:
Assuming you meet all of those criteria you are ready to go. Here's the process and which characters to do what with:
If you did everything right, your JF should be safe and sound and your cyno ship should be a wreck outside. Reship your cyno alt and clean up the wreck. (You can carry spare fits in your JF if you don't have any way to prestock your destinations.)
Now, fly you cyno to the next desto and repeat the checklist and jumping process til you're where you want to be. Honestly this is the easy part.
This is where it gets funky. So, you've just docked up at a friendly station/citadel in a lowsec system right next to highsec. If you have a more than two accounts this is where you show your bling cause one of them should be cyno ready at all times for you to jump back to if shit's hairy. This is your new checklist
Got that? Cool, now:
Once your web is jumped you wanna repeat the whole sequence again, gate after gate, until docked. When on gate cloak you use the Full speed key to instantly break gate cloak and E-jump out or lock and web your self. Let's say you are surprised by hostiles just after gating in to highsec. This is your most vulnerable time, and you're probably already fucked, but there are things you can do.
First, you can light your Escape cyno and mouse over the jump button, then hit your fullspeed key and immediately jump. Hopefully they can't lock you in time. You can also try to web/warp like normal and hope they don't catch you. This works sometimes, but generally you want to avoid jumping into a gatecamp.
Preferably use a scout, and/or http://eve-gatecheck.space/eve/
The TEST hauling contract page is here https://freight.pleaseignore.com/ and you should use that if you've got some spare space.
Otherwise, if you're hauling for arbitrage I'm gonna assume you can figure out the market yourself, just try not to be a douche about it and read the wiki article about the market rules. https://wiki.pleaseignore.com/diplo:marketguide
Thems the basics
P.S. If you don't like something change it 'til it's not so offensive, and don't be a spod about it.