A couple of months ago I wrote about an idea to turn my Eve Online corporation, Khumaak Flying Circus, into a hauling corp. This past week I started to turn that idea into reality. In addition to the standard hauling I've done in support of my planetary interaction activity, I've picked up all the courier contracts that make sense to pick up.
What makes sense? Well, if the contract fits inside a Mammoth (28,000 m3), then I'll pick it up as long as the payout is adequate. For example, don't expect me to haul a 20,000 m3 cargo 5-6 jumps, demand 90 million isk in collateral and then only pay 58 thousand isk. Sorry, but generally I can do a lot better than that collecting up a bunch of smaller contracts and making a long run. I should say, did do better than that.
Another type of contract I shy away from are those 12,000 m3 contracts that ask you to jump through low sec. Make the size under 4 thousand so I can fit it in my Prowler and I'll think about accepting it. Why wouldn't I want to send a Mammoth through low sec? Let me give you my experience fulfilling courier contracts in a Prowler Saturday. The first system I jumped into had a Kestrel sitting on the gate. After picking up my first two cargoes, I jumped to a gate and had a Thrasher arrive at the gate the same time I did. And when I picked up my last two contracts, the low sec station I visited had a pirate sitting in the station. I wasn't TOO nervous about this given I was flying a blockade runner in systems I had previously bookmarked. But in an industrial? No way.
One fact about hauling I knew going in was that to get into hauling requires a lot of money. Having to put down a 70 million isk deposit for a 2 million isk contract is actually a pretty good deal. So part of going through the courier contracts is determining what I can afford to pick up as well as the size of the contract. Right now I can handle cumulative collateral amounts of 100 million isk. That has meant turning down some nice contracts. But remember Eve rule #1; don't fly what you can't afford to lose. And this point, I need to limit the amount of collateral I would lose if I lost my ship and someone scoops up the courier container.
So far this year I've delivered 34 contracts worth 7.6 million isk. I can make a lot more money doing other things, but I've discovered that doing courier contracts is rather addictive. I stayed up way too late Saturday night doing them. But at least I'm not mining!