How To Export in Cities: Skylines

Trucking going into a cargo hub for exports (Cities: Skylines)

In Cities: Skylines, your industry buildings’ trucks will automatically export any surplus goods and materials when there is no current demand for them locally.

In this article we’ll go into what gets exported, how it’s sent out of your city, and how to stop trucks from exporting things you still need in your city.

What Gets Exported: Understanding the Supply Chain

Depending on the type, your industrial buildings can produce raw resources, processed materials (a.k.a. special goods), generic goods, or luxury goods.

Product Type Produced By
Raw materials
(crops, raw forest products, oil, ore)
– Zoned specialized industry buildings
– Specialized industry extractor buildings (Industries DLC)
Special goods/processed materials
(animal products, flour, planed timber, paper, petroleum, plastic, metals, glass)
Specialized industry processor buildings (Industries DLC)
Generic goods – Zoned generic industry buildings
– Zoned specialized industry buildings
Luxury goods Factories (Industries DLC)

Assuming you have the entire supply chain within your city, your raw materials extracted from natural resources will be turned into processed materials. Processed materials will then be made into either generic goods or luxury goods.

Generic goods and luxury goods are sent to your commercial buildings to be sold to consumers.

Any surplus at any point in this supply chain—from raw resources to finished goods—is automatically exported by the trucks of the production buildings, if there is no demand or storage space within the city for it.

The different storage buildings in Industries DLC will also export the products they contain as the storage capacity fills up.

How Products Are Exported

Your city can export its goods and resources by road, train, ship, or air.

To export by road, your industry buildings simply need to have access to the highways leading outside of your city.

A truck on the highway, about to cross the city limits to export animal products / Cities: Skylines
A truck on the highway, about to cross the city limits to export animal products

Exporting by rail, ship, or air, is possible with the following buildings:

SCROLL
Building Type Milestone Unlocked Cost (₡) DLC Required
Cargo Train Terminal Train Small City 60,000 none
Cargo Harbor Ship Capital City 60,000 none
Cargo Hub Train & ship Colossal City 90,000 After Dark
Cargo Airport Air Metropolis 200,000 Industries
Cargo Airport Hub Air, ship, train Megalopolis 250,000 Industries
A cargo train terminal (1) must be hooked up to train tracks leading outside the city (2) to be able to export / Cities: Skylines
A cargo train terminal (1) must be hooked up to train tracks leading outside the city (2) to be able to export.
Ship cargo buildings like this cargo harbor need an unobstructed path to the external connection on the open sea / Cities: Skylines
Ship cargo buildings like this cargo harbor need an unobstructed path to the external connection on the open sea

Using Storage Buildings to Slow Down Unwanted Exportation (Industries DLC)

As each extractor or processor building produces raw materials or processed goods, its own fleet of trucks will automatically load them up and transport them to wherever there’s demand.

However, the timing of a truck being loaded with a certain product—and the demand for it within your city—doesn’t always match up.

So sometimes you might run into the problem of your processor buildings or factories showing the “Not enough raw materials” warning, only to see trucks already on their way out of your city to export the raw resources.

The solution for this is to build plenty of storage buildings for that particular raw resource or processed material.

Your extractor and processor buildings will prioritize putting their product there instead of immediately trying to sell it to other cities, allowing you to stockpile on things you need.

Warehouses can be set to contain resources or finished goods. This small warehouse contains planed timber / Cities: Skylines
Warehouses can be set to contain resources or finished goods. This small warehouse contains planed timber.

Each storage building has its own fleet of trucks that will deliver the product to your processor buildings or factories as needed.

Liz Villegas

75 articles

Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.