In Simutrans the things that a player can transport is referred to as goods. There are two different ways to group goods; either by the type of vehicle they can be transported on, or by the type of stop that they can be loaded or unloaded at.
For vehicle transportation purposes, most goods are grouped into goods categories. Some goods however, are considered special freight - where each type of goods may be considered a goods category on its own. The two most important special freights are passengers and mail; but what other types of special freight that exists depends on the pakset; in the standard pakset, Cars f. ex. are also special freight.
All vehicles in Simutrans are associated either with a goods category or with a specific type of special freight. Thus a vehicle cannot transport any goods that does not belong to its goods category (no mixed cargo); but can on the other hand freely mix goods belonging to the same goods category. For example, you don't transport passengers in the same vehicle you transport coal, but you could transport sand in the same vehicle that transports coal - since both sand and coal belongs to the goods category bulk goods. The easiest way to determine what goods category a specific type of goods belongs to is also by checking the goods list; however, the information is always given along with the goods type in the factory information windows for the factories producing the goods type in question. If no goods category is given, then the goods is special freight and needs a specialized vehicle for exactly that goods type.
It is vital that you choose a vehicle for the right goods category, or nothing will be loaded onto your vehicles. In the depot dialogue for each way type, the goods type of each vehicle is given to help you choose the right type of vehicle when forming your convoy.
Due to historical reasons some vehicles may still have misleading names;. i.e. the Coal ship is nowadays a bulk freighter and can carry any type of bulk goods. Always check the vehicle description in the depot dialogue before purchasing any vehicles.
What goods categories there are also depend on the pakset, but most paksets have categories like bulk goods, piece goods, oil/petrol etc. The goods categories for the standard pakset is given in table below.
|Goods category ID||Goods category name||Goods types|
|1||Boxed goods||Books, Printer's Ink, Chemicals,Furniture, Medicine, AAC Stones,Canned food, Beer, Flour|
|2||Bulk goods||Stone, Sand, Iron Ore, Coal,Grain|
|4||Cooled goods||Fish, Convenience food|
|0||Special||Passengers, Mail, Paper, Cars, Steel, Milk, Waste|
The transport revenue (including speed bonus) is set depending on the goods category; and the actual value can be obtained with the help of the goods list.
For stop loading/unloading purposes, all goods, apart from passengers and mail, and whether special or not, are collectively referred to as freight. Passengers, mail and freight form the basis for how stops work; each type of stop can handle one or more of these basic types- it is important that you choose a type of stop that can handle the goods you wish to transport.
When you look at the station information window, or at a schedule in the line management dialogue, the symbols - passengers, - mail and - freight are used to indicate the loading capabilities of the stop - note that both the loading and the unloading stop needs to have the correct capabilities in order for goods to be able to be moved between these stops.
If the stop you wish to load or unload at lacks the necessary capability, you either need to replace it with another type of stop, or extend the stop with an extension building that provides the necessary capability; f ex if your train station only can service passengers, then building a post office next to it adds mail servicing capabilities.