This post was inspired by the recent thread for a general Overhaul of Cargo and Transport system. https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/major-overhaul-to-cargo-system-xml-based.670387/ (This is a copy of my original post, so if you already read it there is nothing new in this OP but feel free to comment below.) For a general Overhaul of Cargo and Transport system, I would suggest to go through all the basic physical and economical attributes as well. Cargo in general has attributes like volume, weight (based on cargo type's individual density) and value (based on current market value). - For non-living cargo there are different physical types like (dry) granular bulk cargo, solid and packaged cargo and fluid cargo, but in context of the game this can be ignored since all goods are either solid or can be assumed to be packed into boxes or barrels, e.g. fluids like rum and wine are transported in barrels. Those goods usually can be stacked. - Living cargo like livestock, slaves, colonists or soldiers may require more space than calculated from their "density". They can be "stacked" on a ship to some degree by (temporarely) adding additional decks. - The game does not really distinguish between low and high density goods but places them all in kind of abstract Intermodal Shipping Container (= Cargo Slot). In real life you could for example combine low and high density goods to optimize the load of a ship based on available capacity (volume and weight). - There are all types of value-density combinations like + bulky low density low value goods (lumber, grain) + low value medium weight cargo (iron ore) + high value high density cargo (gold, silver) + high value medium weight cargo (gems, tools, weapons) + high value low weight cargo (silk, luxury cloth/fur products, spices) etc. - Older trade simulation games like The Patrician 2/3 distinguished between Last (bulk) and Barrel goods (where 10-12 Barrel equal 1 Last). Ships in general have attributes like purchase costs, upkeep (fixed costs + operational costs for crew, reparations, supplies), military value/equipment, speed, enclosed volume, empty weight, cargo capacity (volume, weight). - (Purchase) Costs for ships in europe in the game differ since purchase costs are calculated using a function of a base price and the number of purchased units of that type. So in the game a new caravel can be more expensive than a galleon. This permanently shifts the cost-value-rating of ship types with each purchase, making even exotic ship types interesting. - Units in the game do not have upkeep costs. They do not cost cash and do not consume supplies (food, ammo). The costs for a fleet of galleons is limited to the purchase / construction costs. In real life using a well armed high upkeep transport ship to carry low value goods usually results in an economic loss. (However in some situations you have to do this because of strategical (military) reasons.) No upkeep has probably the biggest effect on how players use ships in the game. - The larger historical war ships (SoL, MoW) could have several hundred up to almost thousand crew members (for a ship with 100+ cannons and ca. 2,000 tons). In the game a colonist / soldier unit represents a group of only ca. 100 persons and uses 1 cargo slot. So very large ships in 18th century could have way more than just a few cargo slots. And on war ships many slots would be filled by crew, equipment and supplies. To be more accurate, the game could feature a sailor profession and larger war ships would require several sailor units as crew to be fully operational. - The game uses the concept of an abstract Intermodal Shipping Container (= Cargo Slot). In real life there would be different types of ships for low value less protected bulky cargo, for transport in general and for high value well protected quality goods. - Warships usually do not allow much extra cargo due to all the weight and volume used by guns and weapons, military crew, supplies (ammo), armor and extra strengthened ship structure, ballast, etc. However warships to some degree usually could be converted to transport ships by removing much of the armament and crew. On the other side merchant ships could be armed with additional guns, crew, etc., reducing the available cargo space. Ship carpenters were able to convert most civilian ship types into better armed semi-military or pirate ships. (War/Peace Time Conversion of ship types) In real life you could decide how much capacity (based on ship type) is used for military equipment and combat crew (combat strength) and how much for cargo for each individual ship. When the number of owned ships is growing from a few to dozens or hundreds, ships are often organized in fleets and convoys to keep a clear organisation and not lose track. - In the game it is much clearer, easier and costs less clicks to (manually) manage a couple galleons waiting in a city than to go through 3 times the number of small ships like caravels. (The situation might be different if the player automates most or all ships.) - It might be helpful for the (manual) players to be able to group several (smaller) ships to a convoy/fleet with combined cargo capacity. (Similar to Civ6 corps units.) For example 3 caravels as group could form a 6-cargo-slot unit with attributes different to the galleon. Combining some cargo ships with an escort could result in a new unit with increased military value and cargo capacity compared to the original cargo vessels. Overall I have the impression that the lack of transportation costs (ship upkeep) in combination with the increasing effort to (micro)manage too many small vessels is responsible for the players to prefer galleons and not use the available ship types as intended by design.