|Coal||Heavy (0.83 g/cc)||Simple (piling)||None||None|
|Grain||Heavy (0.83 g/cc)||Average (silos)||Low||Low|
|Petroleum||Heavy (0.88 g/cc)||Simple (tanks)||None||None|
|Clothing||Average||Average (distribution centers)||Low||None|
|Fruits||Average||Complex (temperature controlled)||High||High|
|Container||Average (15-20 tons) per container||Average (stacking)||Low||Cargo dependent|
- Weight. A simple indicator of the amount of energy that must be spend to carry the cargo. Heavy cargo require more energy to be transported as well as heavier modes and equipment to handle it. Commodities such as coal, grain and petroleum have a high density.
- Storage. The complexity related to hold the cargo in inventory before it can be used. This can range from simple piling to complex temperature controlled warehousing. Commodities tend to have simple storage requirements while retail goods need to be handled in distribution centers. At the end of the spectrum many food and pharmaceutical products require complex storage and procedures.
- Fragility. The ease at which the cargo can be damaged during transport. Fragile cargo require additional handling and storage procedures.
- Perishable. Some cargo degrade after being harvested or manufactured. After a specific duration their commercial value decline or becomes negligible. Perishable cargo thus has a much lower transportability than cargo that does not degrade with time.