The hauler’s trade involves ferrying goods along the spacelanes of New Eden, whether raw materials to fuel the fires of industry, weapons, ammunition and ships to replace the losses of PvPers, or transporting underpriced goods to a location where they can be sold for a profit.
The primary tool of a hauler is the Industrial ship. These ships can haul tens or hundreds of times as much cargo as combat vessels, while being remarkably cheap themselves.
If looking to be a trucker-for-hire, you’ll want to look primarily at Courier contracts. Other players can offer payment to those willing to relocate their goods, rather than moving every ship, module and piece of ammo themselves.
When accepting a courier contract, you’ll have to provide some ISK as collateral. That ISK will be returned to you when you complete the contract, but if you fail to complete it for any reason (such as the loss of your ship and the package), the collateral will be forfeit. You can peek inside the packages you’re transporting to see what’s inside - if it’s worth more than the collateral, you can simply keep the package yourself, forfeiting the collateral but gaining their goods.
Finding a good courier contract can often be tough - there’s a lot of other haulers out there, and many of the contracts available at any times are the ones other haulers have already declined to take, often due to poor rewards for the time and risk investment. Additionally, some courier contracts are, in essence, traps, requiring you to move through low-security space where you can be attacked freely, or requiring you to deliver things to a station where you cannot dock, forcing you to fail the contract and forfeit your collateral.
There are some corporations which have a hauling focus, the most notable being Red Frog Freight and Push Industries. Many courier contracts are issued directly to the hauling corporations rather than through public contracts, so if space trucking is your thing, you may want to look into joining one of these groups.
As noted in the Ganking section, other players can attack you in high-security space. Your best defense against this is to be aware, be alert, and never use autopilot, as it will leave you vulnerable for long periods while flying to the gates. Your second-best defense is to carry little enough value in your hold, and mount strong enough defenses, that you’re un-economical to attack. In an Industrial, a good rule of thumb is not to exceed 20 million ISK in value for each 10k EHP your ship has.
Hauling can provide a slow, but steady, stream of income while requiring a relatively small amount of player attention. Some also find it soothing to sail amongst the stars and watch the traffic of other players passing them by.