Updated for version 5.10
The 'Fill shortages' order (formerly 'Distribute Wares') is a default behaviour that is one of the two main types of predefined trade behaviours, the other being autotrade, and they are most distinct. In essence, fill shortages traders will attempt to transport a particular ware from one producer station to multiple consumer stations in one "run". This is achieved by only undertaking buy orders when the cargo bay is completely empty. As an example a distributor may purchase 16 000m3 of energy cells at a solar power plant and then sell 2 000m3 to a refined goods complex, 10 000m3 to a shipyard and the remaining 4 000m3 to a spacefuel plant. Only after completely emptying its cargo hold will the trader attempt another buy order making for more efficient trips in terms of space utilisation compared with autotraders but less profit because fill shortages traders are not compelled to find the best prices for the sale of goods.
The fill shortages default behaviour requires only a ship and a 2-star level ship (taking the aggregate of the pilot and crew skill biased towards the pilot's level).
The only parameter for repeat orders traders is the ware(s) that the distributor is allowed to trade in (anywhere from 1 to all ware types may be selected but it is recommended to keep it to a small pool to make trade location easier). With no other parameters it means that distributors are free to roam the gate network unimpeded and don't lack the "jumps" restriction of their autotrader counterparts, this can have adverse consequences with distributors opting to traverse dangerous sectors as they go about their trading, blacklists are strongly encouraged.
Due to the order's inherent ability to lose money and get lost somewhere in hostile regions of the network fill shortages is not recommended for players just starting their trading empires and instead is more tailored to players with stronger economic bases (particularly station infrastructure) to sell their goods in greater quantities to improve internal trade efficiency or support the factions' economies with a larger volume of wares.
Besides the change in name, the UI is otherwise identical