Created: 2/7/1955

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible







CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Olfice of Research and Reports




Sun&ary and Conclusions


II. Administrative Structure and Kay







Appendix A.

Appendix fi. Caps in

Appendix C-


Growth of the River Fleet in the USSR,

of River Vessels to thc

3- Material Inputs Tor the Production of River Vessels

in the

- iii -



Sumcary and Conclusions

The river fleet of tbe.USSR has increased from an estimated totalelf-propelledon-self-propelled vesselso an estimated totalelf-propelled0 nonTself-propelled vessels The river fleet will haulmetricf cargon increase ofercent over theillion tons hauled The increase does not, however, meet the requirements of the.Fifth Five Year, and although the tonnage of cargo hauled by the river fleet is increasing, it is doing so at an.annually decreasing rate.

Basic techniques used in the.building of .both self-propelled and non-self-propelled vessels ln the USSR are not always modern, though adequate. Despite efforts to mechanize the industry, production Is hampered by the need for hand work, shortagee in materials andand badly drawn plans for interplant cooperation which compelyards to manufacture goods that should normally be drawn from industrial channels. No major plant expansion Is planned. Everyis that planners expect toaximum of productionthe increase in plant area or thc addition of manpower or machinery required for additional production. Within this framework, no great increase In production capacity Is anticipated for the future.

Tbe rivers of the USSR carry aboutercent of the total freight tonnage transported within the USSR. This figure does not indicate, however, the relative Importance of river transportation in thosef the country where rivers are the sole means of transportation for crops and manufactured goods.

Despite the differences between the river fleets and theirin the US and theomparison in terms of ton-kilometers***

'* The estimates and conclusions contained in this report represent the best Judgment of ORR as

*" Tonnages throughout this report are given in metricon-kilometerhysical metric ton of cargoistanceilometer.

indicates that the Soviet river fleetercent, orton-kilometers, of all Soviet freight3 and that the' Jl^fc treaapcxte^ of US freight^

fleet consisted0 self-propelled end non-self-propelled vessels, whereas thc US had an inventoryowboats, tugs, barges, scows, lighters, and earot include fishing boats or the big ore, coal, and grain carriers on the Great Lakes. 2/

isuring -'for


river shipbuilding industryfof ^bi^U^ibaT-tiaea tbenumber of vessels-as theuS'lo'l^'to'haulmparable tonnages of cargo by^watex and to increase the1 size of the river fleetate considerably greater thaniver fleet many time3 the size of the US. fleet to haul comparable tonnages because the Soviet navigation season is far shorter'than" then the US and-because US efficiency' is considerablygreater than that displayed by the Soviet Inland*fleet." v "

I- Introduction.

The rivers of the USSR carry aboutercent of the total freight transported within the USSR. The river freight is carried in ships of all Bizes and types, the majority of which have been built in shipyards located within the USSR. In many areas of the country, particularly in the hinterland, the rivers ore the sole means of transport for crops and manufactured goods. Transportation plan fulfillment is tied so closely to river transport that any adverse condition, such as lack of water, lack of vessels, or inadequate schedules, results inof the planarticular area-

* Footnote references in arable numerals are to sources listed in Appendix C

- ?

Within thishipbuilding for the rivers taxes on the samo degree of importance as does the building of locomotives and freight care for the railroads- Accordingly, estimates of the size of the Soviet river fleet can best be obtained by analyzing the future of water transportation. The needs of this area of the Soviet economy will yield some idea of the scale of building needed to meet this future.

It should be apparent at the outset that no fine line can be drawn beyond which transport needs are not reflected In shipbuilding. It is assumed that shipbuilding In the USSR is undertaken as needed to meet specified, planned water transportation goals.

II. Administrative Structure and Key Personnel.

In general, all Soviet shipyards and associated enterprisesin river shipbuilding activitiesommercial nature are under the Jurisdiction of .the Ministry of the River Fleet.*

4 the Ministry of the River Fleet was headed by. Shashkov. Shashkov has, in the past, been the recipient of great trust on the part of the government. When reorganization took placee was the Minister for the River Fleet. Bisas Minister for tbe Maritime and River Fleetesult of the reorganization was believed to be annother indication of the esteem In which he has been held was the award to him of the Order of Lenin. 3/

* Beforewo separate ministries were functioning in the field of water transportation. The Ministry of the Maritime Fleet concerned itBelf with all transportation outside the USSR. Thc Ministry of the River Fleet controlled all inland water transportation. Each ministry was headedinister, and administrative and opera- -tional functioning was similar. These two ministries were consolidatedinistry of the Maritime and River Fleet which, in addition to bringing together under one minister all water transportationalso assumed control over the previously autonomous Main Administration for the Northern Sea Route. This situation existed untilhen the one ministry was again divided Into the previous two. The Main Administration for the Northern Sea Route vas then transferred to the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet.

BeforeL lt was apparent from reportsin the Soviet press that Shashkov's ministry was not functioning according to plan, despite efforts to tighten up control over laggard areas. For example, Shashkov ordered the consolidation of the Estonian Steamship Company, the Latvian Steamship Company, and the BalticCompanyarger Baltic-Steamship Company. In addition, he consolidated, under the Main Administration for Petroleumthe major petroleum carriers: the Caspian Steamship Company, the Volga Tanker Steamship Line, and the Reydtanker Steamship Company. Finally, the Soviet Tanker Steamship Company, which had operational control over all seagoing' Soviet tankers, waa abolished, and the tankers were placed directly under the control of the steamship companies in whose areas the tankers normally operated.

esult, this mpBt recent reorganization is. difficult to analyze It may be assumed that reorganization ia in line with current steps to decentralize administrative control over large, unwieldy types ofsuch as the former Ministry of the* Maritime and River Fleet. Since Shashkov is retaining the post of Minister for the River Fleet however,'little change in the basic organization concerned with river shipbuilding is anticipated at present.


The greatest technical advance made' by1 Soviet river shipbuilding yards In recent years Involves the use of what' the Russians term the continuous flow" method of ship assembly. As employed ih the USSR, this method Involves the use of an installation fitted with means for prefabricatiOn of ship sections or the use Of an installation which can receive prefabricated sections from an external source. In both cases the sections are assembled into finished hulls on an assembly-line basis. This method of building ships has not, however, been widely introduced. KJ

Emphasis has been placed on increased production withoutplant facilities. This trend originated9 and wasto be of special significance to the irxiustry. At theemphasis was placed on the need, for training of personnel,supply of equipment, and for increasing allocations ofmaterials.

Technological advances have been made in several fields,In the design and construction of new types of vessels constructed by the use of the "continuous flow" method as need has arisen for such typos. Two examples are the Moskvich-type passengerwhich Is usually fitted vith one or two 3D6 engines, giving theating oforsepower (hp)ndp cargo vessel plying tbe Volga River and capable ofoadons.

It Is the obvious Intention of Soviet planners to advance tbeprocesses utilized in tbe shipbuilding Industry, within thc limits of available materials. Although the USSR recognizeshat one of the beet ways to bringeduction in the time needed to build river vessels is toeorganized intradepartaentel system of yard cooperation, coupled with specialization by thesein the production of standardized parts and units, very little has been done in this connection, and completion dates for new ships are usually not met.

Interplant cooperation Is very poorly developed among the river industrial enterprises. Shipboard components nnd parts are manufactured in accordance with individual orders or are manufactured ln small, lots. Production costs for manufacturing done in thia manner areimes the cost of similar items mass-produced.

Practically all yards make their own fasteners and clamps, bolts, nuts, screws, rivets, hinges, bandies, and chains. The Riga Shipbuilding Ship Repair Yard has ho percent of ltB total lathe park engaged In the manufacture of such items and fittings.

Many fairly large enterprises have special machines, such asknurlers and bolt- and nut-making machines, which have been Idle for years because they have no equipment or special tools. It Isthat hundreds of lathes are idle for thia reason. Enterprises of the Ministry of the River Fleet have been unable to obtain standard cutting and fitting tools and must make for themselves needed drills and reamers, tap and die wrenches, ncrewdrivera and chisels, standard milling cutters, and even three-jawed chucks. The result Is ain gross productiononsiderable number of workers in the main shops are diverted to the production of parts which are not Included in gross and gooda production returns.

Routine machine processes in Western yardsTor example,of pipe by hydraulic meansre Just beginning to finduce in Soviet river yards. Other manufacturing processescrude, in the Idjsenda. shears have been installedcuttingelding) electrodes. When electrodes were cut byiron sheets they were not even and were received in variousthe welders in the shops receive quality electrodes, preparedmeans

The river shipbuilding industry has attempted to utilize theof other Industries in an effort to save--scarce materials. The authorities do not hide the fact that materials are scarce. Efforts continue to devise replacements,as well as substitutes. Woodenf-and Ugooston, are used as bearing materials, replacing babbitt and bronze In bearings used in the stern tube and struts.lnylplastics are used in finishing compartments, and rock wool is"used as an insulating material in refrigerated holds of ships. Polychlor-vlnyl plastic foam. Harks usedeplacement for cork wnere beat, sound, and hydro-insulating materials are needed, o/

IT. Production.

Production estimates in this report are necessarily based on several assumptions. It has been assumed that production and transportation needs are so intimately.coiinected as to be virtually indistinguishable. Furthermore, it has been'aaaumed that 'a-speclf lc unit of hp for' self-propelledpecific' unit of cargo-carrying capacity for non-self-propelled craft will-be required for each ton of cargo. On tne basis of these assumptions, certain use factors for the Soviet

SVe been derlvedfollows: p per ton of cargoons of cargo-carrying capacity per ton of cargo.*


The Fifth Five Yearives some indication of the scope of the water transportation program and, on the assumption cited, the scope of construction. This plan stipulated that the annualin transport was to be aboutoercent per year. numerous statements in the Sovietave indicated that annual plans hove not been met, and the most recent report for theonthsI. reports fulfillment of aboutercent in ton-kilometers andercent in tons. Uj The former Ministry of the Maritime and River Fleet has released data indication that theshare of consumer goods cargo moved hy water transportation has declined below

Appendix A, Methodology.

The Fifth Five Year Plan called for an increase in cargo haulage by river transportation ofo flO percent for the period. Since total tonnage hauled0 wasillion tons, the estimatedshouldotal tonnage5 of5illion tons. However, based on "statements in'the Soviet press,erformance3 in estimated to haveillion tons. Had the plan been met, performance' would have been within the range5illion tons Hence actual plan fulfillment appears to bc running67 percent of plan.

Should this pattern continue,nnual tonnage hauled would amount toillionpercent increase overor aboutercent of the planned figure for the period. Thus it is evident, that while, cargo haulage-by.river transportation is increasing, it is doing so at an annually decreasing rate. The inability to attain the planned, goal was caused by material shortages, the transfer of skilled manpower to the agricultural sector of the economy, theof apparently extensive portions of production capacity to the manufacturing .of.goods and equipment for farms and machine tractor stations, and tbe apparent shift of emphasis sway froa the actualof new river fleet vessels- The estimated growth of the 6oviot river fleeto shown in Table 1.

Table 1

- -

Estimated Growth of the River Fleet ln the USSR





Self-Propelled Vessels

Horsepower (Thousand)

Hon-8elf-Propelled Vessels

Cargo-Carrying Capacity

on Metric Tons)


7 -

V. Imports.

thetogether with planned production to

rom both Satellite and non-Satellite countries, indicate that imports of river vessels to the USSR for use on the rivers and lakes or the country are as shown in Table. 2.

Table 2

Imports of River Vessels to the USSR

Number Horsepower








'a. Partial estimate. Does not include data on vessels in the Satellite and Western river shipbuilding programs that arefor export to the USSR.

VI. Inputs.

The basic material input groups for the river shipbuilding Industry

andrRUts for the production of river vessels In the USSRrc shown In

The problem of unit input has been resolved on the basis of Soviet practice- Since Soviet publications invariably refer to the basic units tons cargo-carrying capacity" and "horsepower" for non-self-propelled and self-propelled vessels, respectively, these units have been retained. It is therefore possible to compile total input values

* ollows on p. 9.

- fl -

for any given river shipbuilding program by using these factors and applying them to the corresponding program.

Table 3

Material Inputa for the Production of River Vessels ln the5


(Thousand metric

(Million board


(Metric tons)

(Metric tons)

(Thousand metric

(Million board

(Metric tons)

(Metric tons)

VII. Conclusions.

The river shipbuilding industry of the USSR hastage of development vhich enables it to cope vith the building tasks uf.sig;iei. ards producing river ships in the USSR, hovever, are not comparable with Western yards, except in isolated cases, because neither techniques, machinery, nor manpower productivity areevel with Western yards. Ho major expansion of plant facilities for the river shipbuilding industry in the USSR Is planned for the future. Expansion Is possible, however, and may be undertaken should the need arise. It Is assumed that within the framework of existing agreements, extended, as they expire, the USSR will Import river craft to augment its own natlvo-built fleet.




. The use factors listed on pagebove, have been derived front an examination of published Soviethich yielded use factors for the45 Instablished an estimate of the hp and cargo-carryingneeded topecific program. The three use factors thus derived were as follows:

' 1 4 5

Hp per1

Cargo-carryingmetric 9 6

1 figures were hosed on the transportationillion tons of cargo, estimated by the Soviet planners. Thc best evidence is that this figure actually wasillion tons of cargo, the highest prewar figure attained and not again reached until Hence the efficiency indicatedse factor based1 was rejected lnfavor of the figures4hich were actually reported figures- Of the two5reater efficiency.ith its corresponding use factors, was selected-Inherent in this use factor arc such intangibles as attrition caused by losses, age, and other variables, as well as changes in thepattern. Thus, for any given year in which the tonnage hauled is known or estimated, the use factorsleet size for that year which is estimated to be reasonably accurate for computation.

The yearly fleet totals shown in Tableere compiled by the use of these factors, applied against estimated cargo transportation figures. In turn, yearly differences, less imports, yielded production figures.

* P.bove.


Thc primary materials for thc river shipbuilding industry ore Bteel aod wood. Although it is recognized that certain enginec are made of aluniman, the total number of engines using this material is unknown but is believed to be too small, over-all, to have any appreciable effect on production of that metal. It is therefore not included in thc listing.

Material inputs for steel vessels, both self-propelled and non-self-propelled, were weighted in accordance with the tonnage figures developed in Table





The principal gap in intelligence on the river shipbuilding industry of the USSR Is in information directly pertaining to its achievements. The Soviet press and publications are the main source of information, but coverage is spotty at this time. Hence reliance must be placed on other indicators than actual construction information and plans.

A secondary gap exists ln detailed information regardingcosts, manpower allocations, productivity, and inputs in other than that phase of building concerned with wooden ship construction.





The principal sources of information for this report uere (lj the?nrcre8S; Soviet KMblications (books andBIS reports. These sources provided information which wasas probably true.

Evaluations, following' the classification entry and designated "Eval., have the following significance:

Source of Information

- Documentary

ompletely reliable

sually reliable

airly reliable

ot usually reliable

ot reliable

annot be Judged

- Confirmed by other

- Probably true

- Possibly true

- Doubtful

- Probably false

- Cannot be judged

Evaluations not otherwise designated are those appearing or: thelhoseRR" are by the author of this report, no u( evaluation is given "hen the author agrees with the evaluation -'I the cited




World, U- Eval. RR 1.

b U- Eval. RR 2.

Nev York, p. p. U- Eval. RR 2.

Vodiiyiy, p. 1- U- Eval. RR 2.

Rf chnoy transport,. U- Eval. RR 2.


Vcxluyly transport,. 2. U- Eval. RRune port,. 4. U. Eval. RRechnoy transport,. U. Eval. RRodnyly transport . 2. U. Eval. RR Z.

- 2. U. Eval. RRnd other Issues

FDLS, Weekly Report, USSR and Eastern Europe,,. C. Eval. RR 2.

ir transport,- 1- U. Eval. RRy of Fulfillment of the State Plan for theof the Rational'Economy of theranslated from Pravda,. 2. U. Eval. RRocialist Construction In the USSR, Soyuzorgouchet, Moscow,

. U. Eval. RRudpstroyenlye. No.. 2. U. Eval. RR 2.


Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: