With the Brave New World Expansion pack comes a new system of trading via Caravan and Cargo Ships.

Each trade route only last a couple number of trips but the units don't seem to have a number of moves per turn. Does the distance of the trade route have an impact on its effectiveness.



  • City A -> City Z is 30 tiles by ship and A can give Z 10 food per trip
  • City B -> City Z is 10 tiles by land and B can give Z 8 food per trip

Assuming that each does 5 round trips to keep the math simple

Does it make sense to go B->Z for 40 but done in less turns Or A->Z for 50 because it takes the same amount of time to complete 5 trips regardless of distance.


While the caravan/cargo ship does have a graphic that goes back and forth, the trade route gives food/production/gold per turn, not per graphical trip.

I just tested the effects of distance in my current game (all routes comes from the same port city).

Internal cities:

I sent 2 cargo ships to cities in my own empire:

  • City 1 is 10 hexes away, the trade route gives 9 production/turn, for 30 turns.
  • City 2 is 21 hexes away, the trade route gives 9 production/turn, for 30 turns.

So, distance does not effect how long internal trade routes lasts, or how much food/production you get (from what I can see).

Foreign Cities:

I tested it with some cargo ships to foreign cities and city states:

  • City 3 is 28 hexes away (other civ), trade route lasts 28 turns
  • City 4 is 29 hexes away (city state), trade route lasts 29 turns
  • City 5 is 40 hexes away (city state), trade route lasts 40 turns
  • City 6 is 42 hexes away (city state), trade route lasts 42 turns

It does effect the length of time that a foreign trade route remains active, the trade route appears to last 1 turn per hex of the trade route length.

Distance does not appear to influence the calculation of gold/turn with foreign cities. Based on the trade screen, that is related to "difference in resources", and the two cities local gold/turn generation.


Distance will be a consideration in the defence of trade routes, because if a trade route is very long you will have more distance to protect from barbarians or enemies.

  • Ok see I did not know that the trade routes were per turn. I was thinking they worked like the great merchant and delivered their "goods" on arrival. Thanks – Mike Jul 18 '13 at 12:04
  • No worries mate. – Michael Campbell Jul 18 '13 at 13:29
  • 2
    Longer trade routes give you more resources per turn, but are harder to defend. The game mentions this and it is the primary difference. I believe you said the same thing. It is interesting to see that the length of time it is active changes depending on distance. – Alan Jul 23 '13 at 21:14

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