From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
I'm gone through the related code and (as much as I can recall) the design goals behind it.
Original WITP and early pre-release AE did not include any special docking/unloading code for TFs. The TFs attempted to dock and, if they could not, they did not load/unload.
Play testing pointed this out as a potential problem, so code was put in to allow TFs to load/unload without docking - albeit at a lower rate.
Concurrently, additional limits were set up for ports. This was a complex one. Even if TFs could unload large amounts of cargo "over the beach", the port itself had only limited ability to move and store this cargo. At some point the cargo just built up on the beach (waiting for land transport to move it) and the beaches became congested. So we put in non-docked cargo handling limits. Like docked limits, these depended on port size. Both were available, with docked being preferred and undocked never exceeding the docked rates.
Finally, a special check was put in for amphibious TFs at small ports to force them to undocked unloading. There was considerable debate over the details of this during play testing and the final result was a compromise that was probably not fully agreeable for anyone.
In retrospect, I think the calculation of the load/unload rates is a little low and the limits on port processing of over the beach cargo a little too tight. But that is just my opinion and I am no longer active on the AE support team.
A bit long winded but the bottom line is: I recommend that no changes be made to the calculations. Too great a chance of any change unbalancing things even more. Besides both the effect and relative number of occurences are small.
If any changes were to be made, they would have to be to both load/unload rates AND over-the-beach cargo handling limits. Changes to one or the other would be lost due to restriction of the unchanged item. But, if over-the-beach cargo limits were changed, we would throw the entire load/unload calculation out of balance (i.e. docking limits become superfluous). The only way to retain any sanity would be to limit ALL undocked loading/unloading to amphib TFs and give a specific (and tightly controlled) increase to over-the-beach cargo handling limits for naval support. This would be the right thing to do, in my opinion, but would completely remove the ability of non-amphibious TFs to load/unload when not docked. I have memories of the howling when this was attempted during development (especially since loaded TFs can not arbitrarily switch to amphib at the destination). All of this would come back to more tuning and (again, in my opinion) not solve the problem - just alter it so it was wrong in a different way.
All I got...