another form of space travel would be to use a dimensional drive system. sort of side stepping the distance by jumping into another universe and returning to the home universe at the desired location. the only hang up would be that the location would have to be scouted prior to the "dimensional hop" happening to prevent the ship from returning inside a foreign object. so normal warp drive would still be required to expand on known space. the trade routes would be shorter. another hang up may be that a stronger power source may be needed to perform the "jump"