- "Port of Singapore. Good for close quarters engagements and verticality."
- — Map description
Cargo is one of few maps in Call of Duty: Black Ops II to have dynamic map elements. Containers in the center of the map ascend and descend continuously, obstructing players views designed to create more intense gun fights and for players to think tactically about moving around this area. The map has five elevated spots on the map, encouraging long range battles.
Cargo consists of a circular central area that has shipping crates surrounding it, along with an office building opposite to the shipping crate area. The major lines of sight that surround the central area form a sort of triangle with corners at each side of the shipping crates and the office building. This makes Cargo a generally balanced map.
As mentioned before, the central area is dynamic. This not only changes the paths that can be taken in the central area but also when the crates are being moved by the crane, they can be used as a form of cover as they will often block out views of key points on the map; namely the office building and the two opposing piles of shipping crates that are often populated at the beginning of the match. Approach the center with caution. The constantly moving crates can prove fatal to any who are unaware and careless enough to be underneath them.
The shipping crates form the southern and eastern areas of the map and wrap around the sides of the central area. At each of the two sides, there are some crates that players can go on top of. An elevated position in the center of the eastern side of the map provides decent sightlines on both the northeast and southeast areas. The crates in the northeastern corner allow highground to pick off enemies in the office, and control the east and northeast locations. Since the two central crate areas are directly opposite each other, it is often where most of the initial fighting takes place. A long range weapon such as a sniper rifle or a light machine gun would be useful if the player decides to spend time on top of either side of crates, since these two areas are decently far apart and also offer good sightlines over the central area and the office building.
While the tops of the central shipping crates can possess good offensive benefits, there are flanking routes on either side. Due to this, Claymores, Bouncing Betties and Shock Charges are useful for holding these positions. The western zone of the map contains a vacant trailer on a semi truck and a break room, both of which have sightlines on nearly the entire western area.
The office building provides a good overlook of the central area and also the aforementioned two areas of shipping crates, and also an overview to the northeastern part of the map. The office is also accssible by mounting a lift beneath the window in the northwestern passage of the map. This side can prove quite difficult to hold down against stealthy and fast paced players, due to the amount of cover in the northeastern passage. Although the office provides a good offensive position, it is very easily flanked from all sides: the three downstairs entrances, and the three upstairs.
- Most of the containers on the map say "III-Arc", a reference to Treyarch.
- Crates that are being lowered can crush and kill players.
- Most of the visible cargo in pallets is beer. The beer crates say "'A', because that's what we all say".
- The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort can be viewed from one part of the map, but its geographical location is incorrect.