The system has been working amicably for years, but recently several back-end performance issues were identified in it. As part of CCP's on-going war on lag, major back-end optimisations were made. Due to this restructuring of how contracts are handled on the EVE server, several new features have suddenly become possible. In a new devblog, CCP Atlas explains the back-end improvements and what they mean for the average player. Several features players have asked for over the years are on the way, such as the ability to put damaged items into contracts.
Ammo in the guns of a ship being contracted will now be moved into the ship's cargo hold rather than the item hangar, and ship insurance will no longer be voided when a ship is contracted. A whole host of improvements are also on the way to make the terms of courier missions more obvious. Players will be informed of the dangers of a contract before they accept it, including dangerous systems en-route and whether the destination station might refuse them docking rights. The upgrades are already live on the EVE test server and will be hitting the live server as part of the Incursion expansion's third phase in January.