SpaceX Will Replace Cargo Planes on Its Path to $1 Trillion per Year in Revenue

The reality of SpaceX mass production rockets is unfolding before our eyes. SpaceX Starships will cost over ten times less than current cargo planes, have over twice the range and will be thirty times faster. These massive advantages will give SpaceX dominance of the cargo business.

The global cargo airline industry generated revenue streams of $117.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is projected to make $140 billion in 2021.

The commercial rocket launch market is about $10 billion each year.

SpaceX will be able to make ten times more from point to point cargo delivery on earth than from the space launch industry.

SpaceX is rumored to be buying oil rig platforms and will convert them into rocket launch and landing facilities.

SpaceX already dominates the commercial rocket launch business with over 60% market share.

SpaceX will create a new category of rocket air delivery for same-day international deliveries and four to six-hour delivery between continents or from east coast to west coast.

The rocket cargo delivery business will be comparable to the eventual global Starlink internet revenue.

Air cargo will be a training area where SpaceX will master volume operations and improve operational safety. Eventually, SpaceX will achieve the safety needed to move people. They will prove safety by safely flying a few thousand cargo Starships hundreds of times a year.

In a normal year, commercial passenger air travel is a $600 billion a year business.

If SpaceX captures global internet, global cargo and global passenger air travel then they will have a trillion dollars per year in revenue.

Current Rocket Mass Production

SpaceX is building six Starship prototypes and two Super Heavy Boosters at the same time. This clearly shows the mass production of fully reusable orbital-class rockets will be achieved in 2021.

Brendan Lewis (brendan2908) has the status of the SpaceX prototypes.

SpaceX appears on track to building two Starships per week and two super-heavy boosters every month.

Costs Will Be Over Twenty Times Less With More Range, Capacity and Speed

The estimated salary, benefits and overhead for 3000 SpaceX employees is about $600 million per year. This is with an estimated an average annual cost $200,000 for each SpaceX employee. SpaceX will have a runrate of building 100 Starship built each year and 25 Super Heavy Boosters by the end of 2021. Each Starship would have about $3 million in labor and each Super Heavy booster would have about $12 million in labor.

The steel is about $200 per kilogram. The dry mass of the Starship will be about 120 tons and the Super Heavy Booster will be about 300 tons. This would be $2.4 million for the Starship if most of the material was the steel alloy. The Super Heavy would be $6 million of steel.

If the steel and salaries are half of the total cost of the rockets then the unit costs at different production levels would be:

Two Starship per week would mean $10.4 million per Starship
25 Super Heavy Boosters per year would mean $36 million SH booster

Reaching a Starship cost of $5 million would require 3000 employees to build about 220 Starship every year. This would be $1.3 million in labor, $2.4 million in material and $1.3 million for other costs.

Airbus and Boeing were making 800-900 Planes in normal years. Boeing was making sixty 737s per month and the starting price is $90 million each. Boeing can make ten 787s per month at a cost of $300-400 million each. Airbus has similar costs and production rates.

A Boeing 737-200 in cargo configuration can move 15 tons of cargo and costs $120 million. The range is 1500-3800 nautical miles. It has a speed of about 460 miles per hour.
A Boeing 767-300 in cargo configuration can move 56 tons of cargo and costs $220 million. The range is up to 3,765 nautical miles and the speed is 530 miles per hour.
A Mass Produced SpaceX Starship will have 80-120 tons of cargo capacity and cost $5-20 million each. The range is up to 7000 nautical miles and speed will be up to 20,000 miles per hour.

SOURCES – Brian Wang analysis, SpaceX, Brendan2908, nolinor
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com