Routes which jump-capable starships travel between major worlds and which connect vital suppliers with essential markets, important government worlds with high population worlds, and strategic resources with exploiting industry.
Trade routes are a natural outgrowth of economic and market pressures. When a market is no longer profitable, the trade routes bypass it.
The trade routes are typically the territory of the Imperiumís largest trading companies. They maintain fleets of commercial transports and merchants who serve these tradeworlds, and they reap large profits in doing so.
But the trade routes directly serve fewer than a tenth of the worlds of the Imperium. The other 90 percent of the Imperiumís worlds are served by feeder lines, tramp freighters, and free traders. These smaller companies and unscheduled ships carry passengers and cargo between worlds off the main trade routes.
(MT-ENCYC: p42, 1120)
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