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A Talarian freighter

In starship classification, freighters, cargo ships, cargo carriers, or cargo vessels were starship types designed to carry cargo, in much the same way transports carried passengers.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual and the Star Trek Encyclopedia used the less common description "cargo carrier" for this class of starships.

The most noticeable feature of freighters were their large cargo bays. Furthermore, they were usually equipped with light armament to defend against pirates and oncoming asteroids.

One of Doctor Phlox's first assignments was examining a cargo ship orbiting Denobula, which had suffered an explosion with many casualties. (ENT: "Fight or Flight")

Some freighters used by the Federation during the 2260s were limited to warp 2. (TOS: "Friday's Child")

Also during the 23rd century, the Federation was known to operate several automated designs, including robot ore freighters and grain ships. These vessels were essentially flying cargo holds that possessed no life support systems. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer"; TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles")

Manned vessels, both of the 23rd and 24th centuries, were often used for transporting more valuable cargo, such as deuridium or dilithium crystals. (TAS: "The Pirates of Orion"; DS9: "The Passenger")

In 2286, Doctor McCoy believed he and the crew of the former USS Enterprise would be reduced to working a freighter, as punishment for violating Starfleet regulations, while in fact en route to the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

While discussing his service history with Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Montgomery Scott noted that in his lifetime he had "served aboard eleven ships," including "freighters, cruisers, [and] starships." (TNG: "Relics")

Due to its proximity to the Cardassian Union and the Bajoran wormhole, many freighters docked at Deep Space 9. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Many times, these vessels travel in convoys, which sometimes allowed them to be more or less susceptible to alien attack. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy") In those cases, they may be accompanied by an escort.

In 2374, the USS Defiant assisted in escorting and protecting Convoy PQ-1 to the Vegan system during the Dominion War. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "The Sound of Her Voice")

An unnamed merchant ship was mentioned in the script for "All Good Things...". In the anti-time present of 2370, a fleet of five Terrellian transport ships heard about "the Light" – a spatial anomaly in the Devolin system – and its power of healing the infirm and the elderly from this ship.

Freighters by race

Freighters by name


Freighter services


See also

External links