Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Cargo Ship is a Civilian unit available from the Ancient Era.


Sea trading unit.


  • Establish Trade Route (Route must run over water from one coastal city to another.)
  • Change Home City (After selecting a coastal city and waiting a turn, allows different trade routes to be made.)


The Cargo Ship is one of the available trading units in the game, along with the Caravan, and is dedicated to sea trade. It may only be built and based in coastal cities. It is used to establish a Trade Route over the sea to other coastal cities. Cargo Ships have double the reach of a Caravan when it comes to range for the possible Trade Routes. Cargo Ships can transport 20xFood5 Food or 20xProduction5 Production between coastal cities of an empire and also automatically carry religious pressure. They move 4 tiles at the start of each turn.

They can only be built (or purchased) if there is a free Trade Route slot available.

Cargo Ships are considered civilian units and may cross tiles controlled by another civilization, even without Open Borders. Like a Caravan, if an enemy raids a Trade Route, the Cargo Ship is destroyed and yields 20xGold5 Gold rather than being captured. When Barbarians plunder them, a second barbarian warship will be created.

Unique Unit Replacements[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Arumbai Ternate (Babullah)
  • Increases FaithIcon religious pressure from trade routes by 10% per allied city state.
  • Produces the respective yield of the last Greatperson Great Person expended when the Traderoute trade route ends.
Black Star Liner Jamaica (Marcus Garvey)
  • Increased range
  • Gains CultureIcon Culture and Greatperson Great Musician points when trading with a City State, per resource your city has that the City State doesn't.
Company Ship Sierra Leone (Thomas Peters)
  • When trading with a city on a different landmass, your city enters a WLTK Day for the last 10 turns of the Traderoute Trade Route.
  • Gain Goldenage Golden Age points when trading with a civ you have a Declaration of Friendship with.
Hallef Kaweskar (Terwa Koyo)
  • Reveals a random sea resource when trained
  • Generates Science when outside of your borders based on distance from the capital
  • No sight penalty
Merchant Barge
Merchant Barge Egypt (Hatshepsut)
  • Whilst connected to a Capital Capital, both the originating city and the target city will celebrate a 'We Love the King Day' for the duration of the Traderoute Trade Route.
  • When connected to a city celebrating We Love the King Day, or to a city demanding a resource you possess, both cities will celebrate We Love the King Day for the duration of the Traderoute Trade Route.
Reefer Icon
Reefer United Fruit Company (Sam Zemurray)
  • May plant Bananas on land within 2 tiles (extends to 4 tiles after Refrigeration)
  • Bananas planted in or near City-States grant Influence Influence
Unit Types
Ancient Era
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Classical Era
Composite BowmanCatapultHorsemanSwordsman
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Industrial Era
ArtilleryCavalryGatling GunIroncladRifleman
Modern Era
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Atomic Era
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Information Era
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Civilian Units
ArchaeologistCaravanCargo ShipInquisitorMissionarySettlerWork BoatWorker
Great People
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