Honestly, the high fees and low rewards are counter-story… They conflict with the game-stated fact that, “Trading is a great way to make money”. Especially when you have such odd limits and restrictions.
Besides having no time or room to do multiple contracts, the fees eat-up much of the gains. I can understand if you have a casual fee, when just traveling around, without a destination. However, if you have a “contract” to be there, I would expect a “free passage”, covered by the contract. I have seen profits of $85 for a trip that takes $100 to leave the dock you are in, and $100 for a jump to a new location, and another $100 to leave the new location. For a grande total of $215 of debt, by taking a simple, single, contract. (Since there are not always contracts available and the gains from “goods trading”, is also horrible.)
It is better to just take contracts and fail them, selling the items you are transporting, then sitting around for 5 days for the contracts to begin coming again.
There is no real balance in the game, at all. You essentially have to do the story, just to survive, in any real sense.
By the way, the annoying thing about “Contract requires 6 hours to complete”, but game-time expressed in “Seconds”, when it is actually “Minutes”, is highly annoying. Also the game doesn’t pause, like it says it does, when you go into your PDA with a hot-key. It only pauses when you use the ESC key. (Great if that is a function. You can keep it running in the background, in that instance. However, it indicates that it is paused, when it is not. Just make a pause button and make that an OPTION for opening the PDA, right on the first screen.)
P.S. Get a jump-drive, it is faster and fee-free. Defeating the purpose of jump-gates all-together. Plus, you can jump to greater distances, in one shot. However, stupidly, you have to be sitting in a specific sector to jump. (You are jumping a whole star-system, but you are forced to sit in one segment of a star system to do it. Logic fail. Yes, that few miles matters when you are jumping light-years away in a single bound. It should just put you in a similar sector of that new system, or randomly pick a sector to drop you off into, but allow you to launch from anywhere.)