Hauling can be a very profitable career providing you pay attention to a few basic needs. There are three sources for cargo; Ashar, Wesbec and VFD that provide goods for you to haul. Courier missions are similar to hauling but will be handled on a separate page.
How to get started
There are three basic requirements for hauling; Fuel, a Cargo expander, and the ability to read the in-game map. NOTE: all ships come with some cargo space but more is better.
Your ship has some cargo space but to make a living at hauling you will want a cargo expander. If you plan on making hauling a profession or play a lot, you may want to invest in better engines (for more fuel generation) and a fuel storage tank (for fuel storage).
Equipping a Cargo expander requires Device Tech skill. That and the level required to equip the expander is all that is required.
DOs and DON'Ts
You can haul passengers or combine the other profession to "top off" your hold and maximize profits.
Take F.O.M and combat missions for long distance hauls
Get NPC Courier Missions to where you're hauling to, and CSTS that mission cargo to the destination before you leave.
Think about purchasing an engine upgrade from the CE store.
Think about purchasing a fuel storage tank to go with the engine upgrade.
Don't leave a galaxy until you have checked to make sure you don't have cargo in your hold for that galaxy.
Don't keep refreshing the list of cargos hoping for one more to the exact destination that you're going to already. Pick an area, within two jumps of your destination, and accept all cargos for that area, rather than holding out for just that one system.
When entering a Trade Office, be it Ashar, Wesbec or anything else, you will see a list of randomly generated trade missions (amount depending on standing). They are filtered based on your faction XP only, so you must be careful as to avoid picking missions that won’t fit the size of your cargo hold. You can generate another list of random missions by clicking on the "Refresh List" link in the top of the list. Next to it there is a number of credits in parenthesis. This is a very important number, as every refresh you make will cause that number of credits to be deducted from your account. Captains below Level 5 will be exempt from this as they are new to the game.
You will lose faction points aborting trade missions or attacking affiliated ships may also cost you faction (pirating).
The distance you travel to complete a Hauling mission determines how much experience and credits you receive. All of the cargo haulers will entrust you with bigger cargoes as your faction XP rises.
Ashar - Specializing in small packages ranging from 10's up to 100.
Wesbec - Specializing in larger packages starting at 80 and exceeding 200.
VFD - Alien Cargo specializing in larger packages starting at 80 and exceeding 200. Payment is in Talas and loyalty cubes.
Outlaw - Obviously you have to be a pirate (i.e. have positive pirate faction rating) to use Outlaw, in which case they are the only people you can haul for. They pay far more randomly, as their work is ad-hoc, so pretty much just hunt through their lists for the best deals.