Because Cargo can't be picked directly at Industries and buildings (i.e. Cargo agent), Stations have to be build. A produced cargo is then delivered to that stations.
The delivery itself is not explicitly visualized as a physical transfer - it is a virtual micro-process. The allotted amount of cargo units simply appears at the station instantly upon positive delivery decision (see below about conditions). The agent is fully responsible for delivery and doesn't pay anything to the station's owner.
A cargo producer doesn't spread all of its product mindlessly everywhere. Every time it produces something a delivery check is executed. To get a share of the product the station must meet curtain conditions:
- be within the catchment area;
- declare the ability of servicing the particular type of cargo; this is done for each cargo type independantly, see below;
- win the competition (only if there are multiple logical stations within the area);
- maintain good local station rating (the reputation of this particular terminal) by providing positive, predictable servicing to get a bigger slice of the production.
To declare the intent of servicing a particular type of cargo at the station, a capable (properly fitted) vehicle must first arrive there with any positive loading order. Regardless of the loading result (it might as well depart immediately without loading), this serves as a "ping" to the agent so it will include this station into its next delivery check. This mechanic protects players from delivering unwanted types of cargo to the stations (e.g. there might be another producing agent within the catchment area with a different type of cargo, which is not planned to be handled by the station's owner).
The station rating determines the share size; all other checks are mandatory, failing at least one them leaves the station without any delivery at all. If the agent can't reach any station or doesn't trust it, the product vanishes. Agents typically withhold some part (based on station ratings) of each production output. This withheld part also vanishes. That waste presumably means that agents decide to transport it via some background, noname companies or realize the product locally, without transportation. Increase the service effectiveness and station rating to minimize the waste ratio for higher profit.
Cargo acceptance delivery
When cargo is unloaded at a station within catchment area of any agent accepting that type, an automatic acceptance delivery immediately takes place. Acceptance delivery abides by the same principles: it is invisible, instant and is entirely handled by the agent.
There is no competition or reputation involved when acceptance is checked. For acceptance conditions see Land area information, Industries and Towns.
Because cargo units are essentially destroyed on cosumption and do not get piled up, a consumer agent can't be oversaturated with a surge of its accepted cargo. It will consume infinite amount of accepted cargo type.