The Type-A Free Trader was developed long ago to provide efficient, low-cost transportation for small cargoes and a few passengers. It is an eminently useable design which has been adapted to many other roles, but ultimately is optimised for moving almost half its tonnage in cargo from one star system to another.
The Type-A is, more than anything else, cheap. Its sensor fit is basic and its flight controls are minimal. It does, however, have a large cargo area and reasonable passenger accommodation, and since these are the tools of its trade, not wasting tonnage or money on anything else can be considered a plus. As a result of its efficiency in the small-transport field, the Type-A is one of the commonest starships in charted Space. It is primarily used by small shipping firms (many of them single-vessel outfits) but is also operated by many governments as a mail ship or even a naval auxiliary. Numerous owner-operators (as distinct from small shipping companies) also find this design effective.
Referee's Aid 3: The Type-A Free Trader provides an in-depth look at one of the most common ships in Known Space, along with the A2 Far Trader variant. It walks you through every aspect of the Free Trader, with all new 3D deck plans, and provides specific vessels to be used in encounters.
If you are looking to flesh out the ship many players start with, look no further.