Reasons why Cargo doesn’t show up to be transported
Wrong Vehicle Type: Make sure you are using the right vehicle type. The right vehicle type should list when you purchase it that it can haul the specific Cargo. Even experienced players can get this wrong.
Wrong Station Type: Trying to deliver or drop off Cargo to a passenger terminal or stop won’t work. With that said, you might get a warning/notification that the vehicle can’t use the particular stop, or you might not.
Alternatively, when dealing with mixed passenger/cargo stations, you MUST make sure that when you set up the line, you click the cargo Icon/Symbol rather than the station itself; otherwise, you may inadvertently assign the line to stop at the passenger part of the station.
Stations/Industries Not within the Catchment area: When you click on a station, all other stations or industries within range of the station should light up with white color. It doesn’t matter how far away a station is, as long as the station lights up.
Attempting to make Two Consecutive “Hops” via Catchment area: This can happen if a station is within the range of two industries in a chain. The assumption is that Cargo can hop from, say, a Coal mine to a Truck Station and then hop a second time to a Steel Mill that happens to also be within range of the station. Cargo can only make a single hop (from Coal Mine to Station) before it MUST BE loaded onto one of your vehicles. When the Cargo is later unloaded, it can make another hop via the catchment area.
This can be the cause of the Cargo taking an unusual or scenic route. Let’s say you are dropping off Food in a town and dropping it at a station on the outskirts of town. Now, let’s say you have a second station nearby with a line running somewhere else (let’s say to an Oil Refinery by truck), but you have Commercial buildings within range of this second station but not the first. Normally you might have Crude Oil jumping aboard this line to be delivered to the Oil Refinery. Still, you start to see Food showing up on this line as well, which should only ever haul Crude Oil towards the refinery and possibly Refined Oil back to the station to be transported elsewhere. Because this second station sees demand for Food that the First station doesn’t, the Food Processor will treat this as a route to supply more Commercial demand.