While this isn’t a bad line of logic having an actual problem does generally help, especially when proposing a fairly radical change to the game like this.
Except High Sec is absolutely full of stations and the vast majority of these can be jumped to in absolute safety because the docking range is huge.
For example the Jita 4-4 station itself has a massive hemisphere right outside the undock point that’s around 50km in radius. You could easily fit 3-4 Jump Freighters in there with zero risk of them bumping off each other, and reasonably you could probably just stack cynos in the center and the JFs wouldn’t even bump out of range unless two jumped literally right on top of each other.
There are also other stations in Jita 4-4, and Jita itself is in range of probably 70% of High Sec, so there’s no mid-points to intercept here, everything goes directly to Jita, and for everywhere else you can pick any one of that other 70% of systems as your mid-point because at any given time probably half of High Sec is unoccupied.
High Sec is not like Null where things are very spread out and there are predictable midpoints, everything is pretty tightly packed.
The obvious solution here is to make it so you can’t light a Freight Cyno within the docking ring of a Station or Citadel. Okay, but cynos are cheap and this is High Sec. Light off like five of the things at once, you can pick which one you want to jump to, and the gankers have to figure it out and get their fleet into position before you warp to your Citadel, Station, ect.
That’s also assuming that they have the punch to nuke a fully tanked Jump Freighter and that you don’t just use a webbing alt as your Cyno, because that turns into “JF lands… aaaaand it’s in warp”.
The only reason it’s easy to torp gank a Freighter is because Freighters have to pass through specific choke points and there’s plenty of opportunity to identify the valuable ones and figure out how much gank you need to kill them before CONCORD intervenes. With cynos all this goes out the window. Not only are there no choke points except the destination but you can completely avoid .5 systems and the window to tank is tiny AND you can’t scan your targets so you know there’s something valuable enough to be worth ganking.
Oh and on top of that lets remember that like 95%+ of High Sec commerce never gets ganked in the first place, so even if we somehow do make things more gankable that doesn’t actually stop the consolidation, because a Jump Freighter full of Trit, or T1 mods, or a single massive stack of ammo is never gonna get touched.
Fair, but my point about the metrics stands, and the entire problem here is that you want to turn High Sec from something large to something small in terms of trade.
As pointed out above, pretty much none of this is actually the case. The only thing that’s remotely relevant out of all of this is the cost of fuel, but when you can easily move billions in cargo in a Jump Freighter, and the cost in Red Frog terms is still more than the cost of fuel, that argument gets kinda weak.
For an industrialist the time is far more valuable. A Character that doesn’t have to spend time moving stuff is one that can spend more time building, mining, fiddling with jobs, or can flat out not exist in favor of one that can fly a JF and do all that other stuff.
Here’s the problem though, you’re not just making it easier to move stuff out of Jita to sell elsewhere, you’re also making it massively easier to move stuff out of Jita as a consumer, and Jita is already a hugely concentrated and popular trade hub because there is very very little that you can’t buy in Jita. It’s a one-stop shopping spot. That’s why so much trade goes on there, that’s why people takes stuff from all over already to sell it in Jita and people make trips there to buy.
If getting something from Jita for me becomes as easy as poking a friend with a JF already sitting there and winging him 10m for jump fuel then why would I ever shop anywhere else?
If all the demand goes to Jita (and most if it is already there anyways), and the prices even out, then why would anyone sell stuff anywhere else?