The word cargo refers in particular to goods or produce being conveyed – generally for commercial gain – by ship, boat, or aircraft, although the term is now often extended to cover all types of freight, including that carried by train, van, truck, or intermodal container. The term cargo is also used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use, even when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facility.
Multi-modal container units, designed as reusable carriers to facilitate unit load handling of the goods contained, are also referred to as cargo, specially by shipping lines and logistics operators. Similarly, aircraft ULD boxes are also documented as cargo, with associated packing list of the items contained within. When empty containers are shipped each unit is documented as a cargo and when goods are stored within, the contents are termed as containerised cargo.