Ghtroc Industries, wanting to capitalize on the modest success of the Class 720 freighter, designed the Empress-class super freighter with profit in mind. With the distinctive swept-back look it shares with the Class 720, the Empress-class is immediately recognizable to any experienced spacer.
The Empress-class is a direct competitor to the standard industrial workhorses, the Brayl-class and BFF-1 bulk freighters. However, the Empress-class carries less cargo, incorporates weaker engines, and lacks the tractor beam of its competitors. Additionally, persistent rumors involving mechanical failures, such as cracks in the hull, led to the destruction of many Empress-class super freighters. While it was also equipped with enough escape pods for the entire crew, the location of the pods proved too far away for many crews to safely reach before their ship was destroyed. To counter this, freighter captains moved their escape pods into the ship's forward portion of the cargo hold to facilitate quicker escape should their freighter suffer any catastrophic damage. Due to these issues, and the Empress-class's lack of weaponry, most captains avoided any risky or dangerous locations when hauling their cargo.
The problems that the Empress-class faced led to an extremely poor sales performance, resulting in Ghtroc Industries declaring bankruptcy. In their desperate attempt to pay off debts, they liquidated all of their remaining Empress-class freighters. The low prices that these desperate sales resulted in, along with the large number that the company dumped, have ensured that the Empress-class is to this day a common freighter in the commercial space lanes.