Previously, Freighters were limited in the ways they could manipulate cargo while in space. Freighters and jump freighters have since been upgraded with a jettison tube and can freely jettison, scoop and move items between containers. They are still not able to load or scoop assembled containers into their cargo hold, except for freight containers. Freighters can also be used to empty, or fill, planetary Customs Offices with the materials the offices will hold.
They are capital sized ships and are very slow to move. They also have a very low warp speed. If a friend is in the same corporation as you, he can speed the warp initiation phase by using a webifier on your freighter.
Freighters and Jump Freighters have only low slots. Expanded cargohold or reinforced bulkheads are recommended.. AY-2 or HY-2 implants, however, are recommended - the latter can save a significant amount of time over a long journey, especially if a corp-mate is webbing you into warp.
Freighters are quite expensive but given their huge cargo size they have become a major backbone of the Eve industry. Since they can carry quite a lot of valuable equipment, they are popular targets for combat pilots. While their sheer bulk affords them some protection, a dedicated group of attackers can destroy a freighter even in the most secure systems. Caution should be taken when flying these behemoths to avoid losing ship and cargo to marauders - see avoiding cargo scans.
One commonly heard question is 'I've just spent all my isk on a freighter - how do I use it to make isk?' Do not put yourself in this position - avoid buying a freighter until you have a clear plan for what you want to do with it. This article may be useful if you need ideas.
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