Trying to figure it out.
The stuff the freighter was hauling is in big boxes that are buried in the ground around the ship. One or two might be loot able, but the rest aren't unless you have a Terrain Manipulator on your multi-tool.I followed an icon that came up as I started exploring a new world. I believe it was labelled "distress beacon".
You loot the boxes by "fixing" the lock, like you do with supply pods.
EDIT: which is kind of goofy if you think about it... how is it the cargo is underground without any obvious way to get to it? If it crashed long enough ago for the boxes to get buried, how does the Beacon still work?