The largest transport union in the galaxy has been in some trouble as of late. A series of severe management errors, the rise of smaller, more specialized competitors, and accusations of price-gouging have put into danger what was once the most powerful cargo company in the universe. With the recent departure of CEO J'rel Sarv, I decided it would be an appropriate time to convey a little about the rise and potential fall of what was once considered a galactic institution.
Galaxy Transit arose in the era of the Grand Galactic Alliance, specifically in GSY 2645, making one of the oldest crossfactional companies still in operation as of GSY 3010. When first founded by Coul Falm, a former logistics officer with the Alliance Forces, the organization was known as Secure Space Courier Services. Falm having run logistics for about ten years resigned his commission as he had recognized the need for better delivery services. Before SSCS came into being, systems had their own courier organizations that would run their shipments within their systems. Any system-to-system transport was handled by colonial cruisers that were not specially equipped for cargo, working instead as massive, multi-purpose shuttles. One's choice to ship items between systems fell to these cruisers or independent spacer crews. These crews acted as cargo companies, traveling between systems, but even then their range was limited due to the rather limited number of jump-gates available in the mid-2600s. This meant that most of these transport ships would just make their way back and forth between a handful of systems. This ultimately made these systems like islands; industry and cargo would rarely leave these islands as it was too challenging or expensive to travel to another island entirely.
Falm, during his service, was aware of upcoming plans to expand the number of active jump-gates in the core systems, and recognizing the potential of a wider range of territory being open to an enterprising repton, began funding a small fleet of ships to make up Secure Space Courier Services. One prescient approach Falm took was investing in specialized ships for different cargo. How he had secured his funding for a fleet remains a tantalizing mystery, but when GSY 2645 rolled around, his business operated two massive cargo vessels and three smaller, specialized ships. His other stroke of brilliance was to establish a cargo contract with major systems.
This approach of ferrying cargo of various types across his two different types of ships, in addition to operating between distant systems through newly opened jump-gates soon led to SSCS servicing a number of key parts of the galaxy. By the time Falm died in GSY 2697, SSCS had signed a lucrative contract with the Alliance itself, serving as the official transportation service of the Alliance. As such, and given the early advantage the SSCS had, smaller upstarts struggled.
The sudden decentralization of the Alliance as a result of the Dividing War had proven a shock to SSCS. When the Empire has split off, the SSCS, operated mostly by imperial citizens, established itself as a courier service within the Empire. The opening created by their absence in the Federation, around GSY 2879, lead the Federation to contract out with a number of smaller companies to service different regions of Federation territories.
During the post-war period, perhaps to make the company more palatable to the Federation, Secure Space Courier Services renamed itself Galaxy Transit. Though still principally staffed and operating within Imperial territory, the company leveraged its still expansive fleet into working across factions. However, the Dividing War had done its damage. At its height, Secure Space Courier Services operated about 73% of the galactic transport market. By the time Galaxy Transit established itself in the Federation's territory, their market share was a dominant, but significantly lesser 46% (see Jinzel Falm-Fero's Moving the Stars p. 135, 163).
As far as recent troubles for Galaxy Transit go, a series of expensive acquisitions for little overall gain served as the first sign of trouble. Then CEO, Golan Sayshib'l, authorized the purchase of some smaller, general courier services and liquidated the companies, rather than repurposing the assets for the benefit of Galaxy Transit. This meant that a number of depreciated cargo ships found themselves scrapped, sold, or repurposed around GSY 2940. This initially was seen as a ruthless example of corporate growth, but would come to represent a historic blunder as a number of small business owners would come to repurpose these ships to launch their own companies.
The rise of the megacorps came off as quite a shock to Galaxy Transit's investors. Initially, such large companies as SolariCo, DraCo, and GalacitCorp proved profitable to Galaxy Transit as they would commission their transports. However, as these megacorps grew they began to invest in their own cargo transport operations and even snapped up a number of Galaxy Transit's competitors, as Galaxy Transit was far too large to absorb. As a result, Galaxy Transit had lost one major revenue stream, despite its reach and market share, and had to grow increasingly reliant on non-corp business.
That leads us to the latest problems plaguing the company. As it stands, several systems have pursued legal action through the business courts of the Cyclopasian Neutrality arguing that Galaxy Transit has been price gouging their systems due to their distance from major hubs. While the megacorps have their own cargo ships that service their own colonial investments and contracted locations, the vast majority of systems on the outskirts of the older territories still rely on the services of Galaxy Transit. With no real competition, it appears that Galaxy Transit has been able to steadily increase the price of transport within these systems. Acting CEO, Coul Falm IV, has bluntly denied these accusations, at least initially, but since the case is developing toward a class-action suit, he has not said much.
This seems to be one of the odd downsides of the colonial rush of our current era. As the factions push further out, supplied by corporations, some of the older systems have entered, not quite neglect, but something close to it. As to whether Galaxy Transit has engaged in price-gouging, I cannot say. What concerns me is that our galaxy is beginning to look like a structure that is ever-expanding, but not being completed, leaving a frame of one room to stand as we move onto the next.
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