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Using a long series of estimations whose details can be found in Rick's article he concludes that the annual operating cost for an airliner is about million (not counting fuel, landing fees, and taxes).An airliner's purchase price is 0 million so one year's uses costs about one-third of the purchase price.Don't forget the entry in this website about Cargo Holds As mentioned below, if you want to play around with interstellar trading, or even try doing a full simulation (to do worldbuilding for creating the background of your new novel), I'd suggest getting a copy of GURPS Traveller: Far Trader.Written with help from a real live economist, this allows one to model interplanetary and interstellar trade with equations and everything.Therefore it costs 0,000 per ton of cargo capacity per year to run a cargo starship.This ignores taxes, station docking fees, and fuel.It has detailed analysis of the economics of interstellar trade, and a system of equations to model trade routes and economic demands.Sometimes the traders live in large "clan-ships", developing a "trader culture." Each ship is a world, carrying the entire clan. Novels including this include CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY by Robert Heinlein, STAR WAYS aka THE PEREGRINE by Poul Anderson, the Cities in Flight novels of James Blish, MERCHANTER'S LUCK and FINITY'S END by C. Cherryh, RITE OF PASSAGE by Alexi Panshin, A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY by Vernor Vinge.
Assumption: starships are strictly orbit-to-orbit, they use space ferrys to transfer passengers and cargo between the starship and the planet.Therefore the starships will do fewer trips per year than airliners, so the starship passenger ticket price (and cargo waybill) will have to cover a larger share of the starship's yearly expense.For comparison purposes we need an airliner's average cost of running, but the corporations are remarkably closed-lipped about that.Therefore if the cargo was available for free at the origin the minimum selling price at destination is 0,000 per ton, or 0 per kilogram.The implication is that only very high value cargo can be profitably shipped interstellar.