Created: 12/9/1952

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports

Summary and

I. Traffic Capabilities of the Soviet Merchant Fleet

a. Size and


and Regional Capacities of the Merchant Fleet

and of Port


Port Facilities

II. Soviet-Flag Merchant Shipping


Domestic Traffic

Ii. Traffic with the

5. Traffic with Non-Bloc

III. Significance of Soviet-Flag Traffic to the Economy

of the


Appendix A. Selected Maritime Ports of the USSR: Estimated

Capacities and Major Commodities. 29

Appendix B. Typical Voyage Patterns of Soviet Merchant

2 35

Appendix C. Gaps ln 37

Appendix D. 39

Appendix E. Sources and Evaluation of Sources .


. Following Pa.qe

Typical Disposition of Soviet Merchant Shipping in Non-Communist Waters (Vessels Plotted at Last Reported





cf sovii'i'-i'ug oc^va; traffic*

nd Conclusions

The Soviet merchant marine,hips andross registered toneegligible factor in world ocean transport and even Inadequate for both the actual and the planned deep-sea transport requirements of the USSR. In competitive commercial operations it would be completely outclassed In speed, size, age, and type of motive power. Hearly one-half of the merchant fleet is in-RT class and is suitable only for small-scale coastal operations. Sixty-five percent of the fleet Is obsolescent, being overears old. One-fifth of the fleet (one-third of the newer vessels) consists of Lend-lease ships; If these were returned to the US, the loss would cripple Soviet merchant shipping operations. Sixty percent of the fleet burns coal rather than the more efficient fuel oil. In contrast, only aboutercent of the world's merchant shipping still uses coal.

Soviet shipping operations are inefficient by Western standards, involving delayed sailings, sailings in ballast to plot up foreign cargoes, and generally poor cargo-handling practices. Tbepotential of the Soviet merchant fleet, which can be assessed onlypcrccnt margin of error, is estimated at about 2lU billion ton-kilometers annually, or more than five times the estimated performance

There is little evidence of domestic construction of Soviettonnage. Present acquisitions from the West andRT annually) are not sufficient to improve significantly the over-all capabilities of the merchant fleet. About one-quarter of the existing Soviet fleet tonnage, moreover, is overears old and may be expected to deteriorateapidly increasing rate. Rowever, on the assumption that all vessels ln the Soviet fleet are kept operational and that the annual net increase to the fleet0 GRTknot Western or Satellite shipping, the cargo-carrying potential of the Soviet fleet will be increased byercent annually. On the basis of thc ton-kilometer4 billion ton-klloneters) thc annual increase would be on the orderillion ton-kilometers annually. The ratio of the actual ton-kilometer performance * This report contains Information available to CIA as of

to tho potential indicates that the actual Increase probably willshort of theillion ton-kllometera and will3

The combined cargo-handling capacities of lk selected Soviet ports distributed throughoutrincipal areas of shipping activity (Arctic, Baltic, Black Sea, and Pacific)etric tons per day. The Baltic and Black Sea areas account for nearly two-thirds of the total capacity. Host Soviet ports would bo considered to be inefficient by Western standards. Wharves and warehouses usually are in bad condition, utilization of machinery is poor, and dockside labor is inferior in quality. Ports are, however, being mechanizedreater extent, and operating efficiency is reportedly rising.

Despite the emphasis placed by the USSR on carriage of ocean-borne foreign trade ln Soviet bottoms, the greater part of such traffic moves in non-Soviet vessels. On the assumption that domestic cargoes accountedpercent of the traffic performance of the ocean fleetrillion ton-kilometers, Soviet-flag ocean traffic with foreigntotaled onlyillion ton-kilometers. (The volume ofcarried In Soviet Bhipe is estimated to exceed tho voluwside margin, The transport of domestic cargoes between Soviet ports remains the major task of the Soviet fleet. On the basis of analysis of Soviet source data it is estimated that Soviet-flag ocean traffic1illion metric tons.

The nature of ocean-borne traffic between the USSR and foreign ports consists, broadly speaking, of exported bulk raw materials in exchange for manufactured goods. In Its dealings with the West the USSR attempts to move in Soviet vessels manufactured goods of high value, leaving the less valuable bulk cargoes to Western shipping.

The trend in ocean freight traffic as reported by Soviet sources has been steadily upward. 9 this traffic wasercent higher thannd0 it exceeded thatercent. The planned increaseercent10 was met. In general, however, the fleet performance is unsatisfactory to the USSR. Freight turnover was scheduled to increaseercent0ut the actual increase was onlyercent. Although ton-kilometer performance0 exceeded thatt0 byercent, the actual tons of cargo carried by Soviet-flag vessels only slightly exceeded3 million metric tons carried

Although the Soviet ocean fleet carries onlyercent of the total Soviet traffic load, it nevertheless makes an Importantto the Soviet economy. Soviet shipping operations over the Northern Sea Route make possible the economic expansion now under way ln the Arctic and North Pacific areas. The hauling of bulk raw materials from the Black Sea to the Par East by sea contributes to the capability of the Trans-Siberian Railroad to transport high-priority industrial products and war material tohina.

I. Traffic Capabilities of the Soviet Merchant Fleet.

A. Size and Quality.

The Soviet merchant marine late1hipsross registered tons (CRT). Freighters constitute the largest tonnage group, with combination passenger-cargo ships next. The tonnage of the fleet by type of vessel is given In Table 1.

Table 1

Tonnage of the Soviet Merchant Fleet by Type of Vessel

Type ofof





* Footnote references in arable numerals are to sources listed in Appendix E.

The Soviet merchant fleetegligible factor In world ocean transport. By Western standards It is even inadequate for both tbe actual and the planned deep-sea transport requirements of the USSR. Its quality is extremely poor, lay-up and repair time accounting for much of the potential operating time. Vessels in operation, furthermore, generally are in poor-to-foul condition both as to operating efficiency and as to upkeep.

The poor quality of the Soviet merchant fleet is clearly brought out by an analysis of the important factors of speed, size, age, and type of motive power.

The speed of the fleet is shown inwithdrawal of Lend-lease tonnage would significantly lower the average speed of the fleet).

Table 2

Rated Speed of the Soviet Merchant Fleet1


cf Vessels

of Total


to 12

to 15

to 18


It Is apparent from the data on speed that tlie Soviet merchant fleet is much too slow for efficient operation and would be completely outclassed if used in competitive commercial operations.

The small size of the average Soviet-flag merchant ship is another key to thc quality of the fleet. Nearly one-half of the fleet Is in-RT class, primarily suitable for small-scale coastaland-RT group (the tonnage class of most of the Lend-leaseighly suitable for general trading, accounts for one-fifth of the number of vessels in the fleet. ercent of the fleet

- It -

n-GRT class, and ships0 GRT constituteercent. Tbe size of the fleet is shown in Table 3. Very little

Table 3

The Soviet Merchant Fleet by Category of

ofof Total







of the Soviet merchant fleet is in the relatively more economical large-ship class, whereas among Western owners the postwar trend has beentoward larger vessels to offset constantly rising operating costs.

average Soviet-flag merchant ship is veil over the generally

accepted age standards for efficient operations. Sixty-five percent of the ships In the Soviet fleet are overears old, thus rendering them, by Western standards, obsolete or at best obsolescent. Over one-third of the newer vessels are US-owned Liberty ships, which the USSR continues to retain and operate despite vigorous US protests for repossession. The fact that tbe loss of these ships would cripple Soviet-flag merchantoperations probably accounts for tbe USSR's intransigeance in the matter. Tablesummarizes tho age of the Soviet fleet.

Another Indication of the poor quality of the Soviet more bant fleet lies In the fact thatercent of It burns coal, whereas onlyercent of tho ships use tbe more efficient fuel oil for their propulsion. ewly built coal-fired ship probably would be more efficientyear-old oil-burningajority of the USSR's coal-burning ships are old and Inefficient. In contrast to the use of coal forarge part

ollows on p. 6.

- 5


Table 1*

Age of the Soviet Merchant Fleet1

Aire of Vessel

of Vessels

of Total

5 Tears






of the Soviet fleet, only aboutercent of the tonnage of the world merchant marine new depends on coal for fuel. 5/

Other indications of the poor quality of the Soviet merchant fleet are round in examination of reports on Soviet ship operations and cargo-handling. There are numerous reports or apparently uneconomic vcryacen, delays In sailings, sailings in ballast to pick up foreign cargoes, poor handling of loading and discharging operotlons, and various other practices to confirm the impression that the Soviet merchant fleet could neverin free competition with Western chipping.

B. Distribution.

Thc Soviet merchant marine la organ!ted into four distinct operating areas. These are, in the order of their tonnage assignment, the Pacific, the Baltic, thc Black Sea, and the Arctic areas. The volume of tonnage assigned to each component of the merchant fleet naturally varies froa time to time, but there hasoticeable trend toward building up the Pacific area at the expense of the others. Tableshows tbe trend in the distribution of gross tonnage.

* ollows on p. 7-

Thc distribution of tho Soviet merchant fleet by type is based on variations in the requirements of the uovcral areas. For example, the smaller chips operate in the Baltic, where short coastal runs arc the

i-t- -

Table 5

Trend In DiBtrlbutlon of the Soviet Merchant Fleet91

of Gross Tonnage Assigned to Areas


of VeBsel







Includes Arctic.

pattern, whereas the larger ships are in the Black sea and tho Pacific, where many longer voyages originate. The larger tankers and passenger ships are assigned, for the most part, to the Black Sea and the Pacific, where fuel oil bunkers are readily available. Coal burners operate in the oil-short Baltic area.

C. Over-All and Regional Capacities of the Merchant Fleet and of Port Facilities.

1. Merchant Fleet.

* Ton-kilometer potential is computed by multiplying cargo-lift capacity by the estimated distance travelediven period.

The cargo-carrying capacity of the Soviet merchant fleet is difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy. Such an estimate will necessarily be subject to an error of as much asoercent. factors such as cruising speeds, operating schedules, and cargo-lifting ability are not known with sufficient exactness to make accurate calculations of cargo-carrying capacity or ton-kilometer potential.*

On the basis of reasonably accurate information, however, it is possible to establish some measure of cargo-carrying potential. For example,9 the cargo lift of the Soviet merchant fleetillion long tons, y Tbe lift capacity Is believed to have Increased very little in theears. The merchant fleet Is estimated to operate about 2u0 days annually at an average cruising speednots. 8/ On tbe baolE of these general assumptions tho present cargo-carrying potential of the fleet can be calculated at about 2l4 billion tco-kllometers, or more than five times the performance estimated for

Tbe cargo-carrying potential by region follows closely the cargo ship tonnage allocation to the various regions. That is, the Pacific fleet, with aboutercent of all freighter tonnage, has the eomo percentage of the total cargo-carrying potential,illion ton-kilometers, and the Baltic area has aboutercent of the total potential, orillion ton-kilometers. The Black Sea accounts forercent of tbe total, orillion too-kilometers, while the Arctic fleet baa lessercent of the total potential, orillion tea-kilometers.

2. Port Facilities.

The USSRumber of good seaports on all Its coasts. Id additionarge number of landings, inlets, and bays where cargoes can be bandied, there are fromoarbors of sufficient Importance to be listed as ports of some consequence (the estimated capacities of selected ports are shown in The cargo-handling capacity of some Soviet porta is negligible, but these ports are very important to merchant shipping operations in certain areas, particularly along the Northern Sea Route, where the capacity of most Arctic ports east of Archangel would be considered trivial by Western standards.

The estimated cargo-handling capacities ofoviet ports and harbors by areas are shown In

Analysis of the geographic distribution of ports and of available data on their estimated capacities confirms tbe generalthat tbe Baltic and Black Sea ports arc by far tbe most Important ln the USSR in terms of the ability to handle cargo. Forfaltic ports can0 long tons or more per day,lack Sea ports can handle0 long tons per day. On the other hand, in the Pacific only two ports can handle as much0 long tons per day, and in tbe strategically Important Arctic area only one can handle as cueh0 long tons.

s ollows on p. 9.

Cargo-Handling Capacity of Selected Soviet Maritime Ports by Areas 9/

long Tons of Cargo per Day 5/


Arctic Baltic Black Sea Pacific


Number of Ports




and Over



3 2

f 2

6 0







Retina ted on the basisonp tons of military" through each ship hatchhour day.


The combined capacity of the Soviet ports for vhlch data are availableong tons per day. This capacity is concentrated ln the Baltic and Black Sea areas, vhlch account for nearly two-thirds of the total for the ports listed. The Baltic ports accountong tons, and the Black Sea0 long tons. The capacity of the Pacific porta0 long tons, and Arctic ports listed can0 long tons of cargo per day.

Most Soviet ports would be considered to be inefficient by Wootern standards. Wharves and warehouses usually are in bad condition, utilization of machinery Is poor, and equipment Is frequently idle or breaks down after being carelessly used by inferior help. Ports are,being mechanized as fast ao possible, and efficiency of operation Is rising.

Mechanized loading operations at Soviet ports are reported to have Increased considerably during the Fourth Five Year. The average mechanization level for ports of the Ministry of the Maritime Fleetbole reachedercentonsiderably surpassing0 level9 In spite of this high degree ofhowever, general cargoTs still handled largely by manual methods


and mechanization of thia kind of work is being developed very slowly.

Bulk freight, on the other hand, such as coal, ore, and salt, Is unloaded with special-type wide-Jaw grab buckets which service up toercent of the hold area and unloadoercent of the contents of single-deck ships.* Many ports use scoops for unloading grain from ships' holds. This equipment also can be used for unloading sand, fine coal, and similar bulk freight.

Fork lifts, light portable conveyers, and other machines for mechanized loading and unloading of mixed freight generally are employed in major ports such as Leningrad and Odessa for various kinds of mixed freight. The packaging of mixed freight into larger bundles for handling and storage also is helping to make freight handling more efficient. Small half-ton fork lifts which can load ship cargoes into freight cars are being developed. Mechanical shovels and small conveyers also are used ln loading and unloading operations between ships and railroad cars. (Leningrad uses portable duralumin conveyers for smaller mixedn addition to the abovepecial-type loader foroldew-type overhead crane, and other machines are now being developed for cargo-handling, ll/

Loading and unloading equipment on the docks and in warehouses and storage areas also are receiving attention. Caterpillar-mounted cranes, truck cranes, fork lifts, electric trucks, small tractors and trailers, and other equipment are being used in many Soviet ports for work ln such areas.0 the daily average for cargo-handling is reported to have Increasedercent0ercent This increase also may be attributed to extensive restoration of war An improvement in labor efficiency has been noted by the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet, which asserts thatercent of all freight was loaded by "fast methods"0 and that in some ports fromo V5 percent of loadings were accomplished in this way.

3. Trends.

Three-cubic-mster coal grab buckets are said to be in series production at the Zhdanov plant of the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet.


There le little or no evidence of significant domesticof ocean-going tonnage in the USSR. Present acquisitions from the West and the SatelliteRT annually) are notto Improve significantly the over-all capabilities of the Soviet merchant fleet. About one-quarter of the existing tonnage of the merchant

fleet, moreover, is overearsad any be expected to deteriorateapidly increasing rate. However, assuming that all vessels ln the Soviet fleet ore kept operational and that the annual net increase to the fleet0 GRTknot Western or Satellite shipping, the cnrgo-carrylng potential of tbe Soviet fleet will be Increased byercent annually. On the basis of the ton-kilometer potential shown4 billionhe annual Increase would beillion ton-kllometcrs annually. The ratio of the actual ton-kilometer performance to the potential computed above, however, Indicates that the actual increase probably will fall far short of theillion ton-kilometers and willillion.

The increased capacity probably would conform closely to the present distribution of fleet tonnage, slightly more than half being allocated to the Pacific,ifth to theifth to the Black Sea, andercent to the Arctic.

It can be generally estimated that the capacity of Soviet ports win increase. The rate of expansion will, however, varybetween the various areas. For Instance, the ports In the Baltic are not likely to expand relatively as much as ports in the Arctic and the Pacific. Port expansion in the Baltic probably will be greatest in tho areas acquired by the USSR since World War II (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Easthile porta ln the old territorial limits of the USSR probably will remain at about their present capacities, with some increase in capabilities brought about by continued elimination of war damage (large areas of some ports in tlie Baltic still are unusable because of hulks and damaged quays).

In the Arctic there Is likely to be considerable expansion of porta such ao Molotovsk, Igarka, and Anadyr', where present capacities probably are Insufficient to handle adequately even the limited volume of freight now aovlng over the Northern Sea Route.

The present capacity of Black Sea ports is not likely to be significantly expanded. The area nowumber of excellent ports vhlch probably are capable of handling any projected increase in the volume of bulk export cargoes such as grain and ores. Emphasis will be placed upon continued elimination of extensive wnr daraape.

Expansion of Soviet Industrial activity in the Pacific will loud to some Increase in tbe cargo-handling capacity of ports ln that area such as Magadanlkolayevnk, and Komsoraol'sk, the present cargo-handling facilities of which are low by Western standards. Ports to

the south probably also will be expanded In line with increasing Sino-Soviet commercial relations. The port of Vladivostok, however, will show little dungs in capacity, though efforts to improve the poor condition of this key Pacific port will continue. On the other hand, the neighboring port of Nakhodka, which the USSR is apparently developing for use by foreign shipping, probably will be expanded above its present capacityongay.

Ir* Soviet-Flag Merchant Shipping Operations. A. Historical Treads.

, OSSR has always been carried on principally by sea.

llustrates the relative importance of land and sea transport engaged in such trade prior to World War II.

Table 7

Russian (Soviet) Foreign Trade by Land and by Sea7

Percent of Exports or Imports





Transportationajor portion of national trade in national-flag bottoms has always been an objective of the Soviet regime as it was of the Czarlst regime. Only coc-paratively recently, however, has an appreciable increase been noted in the proportion of Soviet ocean traffic carried in Soviet ships. This trend does not reflect an Increase In tonnages lifted In Soviet ships but rather points to the decrease in tonnages carried in non-Soviet vessels. or example, onlyercent of all exports andercent of all Imports were carried In Russian bottoms and amounted9 million metric tons. lthoughercent of all exports andercent of all imports were



carried by Soviet shipping, the total tonnage lifted by Soviet shipping was probably no greater than3 and may Indeed have been leoo. (it le reported that8 the tonnage lifted by Soviet-flag ocean chippingk million metricrobably excluding small-tonnage coastal shipping.)

Despite the emphasis placed by the USSR on carriage of its ocean-borne foreign trade In national-flag bottoms, the major task of the ocean fleet is the transport of domestic cargoes between Soviet ports. There do not appear to be any recent reliable data on the distribution ofbetween foreign and domestic operations, but coastal and intercoastal traffic far exceeds foreign trade In both tonnages lifted andperformance. or example, one of the last years for which detailed traffic data arc available, total dooestic ocean-borne traffic (largely carried in Soviet bottoms)2 million metric tons as compared8 million metric tons of foreign trade (about half of which was carried ln foreign

B. Volume and Mature.

1. Volume.

The USSR lias issued no detailed statistics on either theor the nature of its maritime trade since before World War II. Such data aa are available on the volume of ocean traffic are derived from prowar statlotiea, evaluations of the percentafie of fulfillment statistics Issued by thc USSR, and attempts to consolidate the fragmentarygleaned from Soviet sources (such as press, radio, and technical reports) and Western surveillance of Soviet merchant shipping operations.

Although it is impossible to determine the present volume of cargoes moved in Soviet-flag ships, certain estimates of the volume can be made within specified ranges. On the basis of analysis andof Soviet source data It appears that the volume of Soviet-flag ocean traffic1illion metric tons. (This estimate Is computed by dividing the estimate0 ton-kilometer performance by the planned average length of hauldjusted for the reported increase1 ton-kllometer performance)

The volume of foreign trade carried In Soviet-flag vessels1 is estimated to have amounted toillion metric tens. (This rough estimate is made on the following basis. 7 the port ofaccounted forercent of all sea-borne Import trafficf all sea-borne export traffic through Soviet ports. In that year

Leningrad handledhort tons of importsillion short tons of It is thus indicated that total sea-borne import traffic amounted to* million short tons and total sea-borne export traffic to aboutillion short tons. urthermore, the Soviet fleet carried aboutercent of all sea-borne imports, and aboutercent of all sea-bornerillion metric tons of Importsillion metric tons of exports, outotal sea-borne traffic4 million metric Allowance being madeostwar decline in Soviet foreign trade, partially offsetise in the percentage handled by the Soviet fleet, foreign trade carried in Soviet-flag vessels1 may have amounted toillion metric tone of importsillion metric tons of exports.)

The regional distribution of Soviet merchant shipping activity by volume handled can be reasonably approximated as follows.


Surveillance reports Indicate that the Baltic area accounts not only for the highest volume of actual cargo tonnages lifted to and from the USSR but also for the largest portion of total Soviet-flag traffic. Northern Sea Route cargoes also come out through the Baltic. Of thetotal ofillion metric tons liftedt is possible that betweenndercent traversed the Baltic.


The Black Sea area is extremely active and probably accounts for the next largest portion of Soviet-flag ocean traffic. Except for some relatively unimportant Turkish trade, Soviet-flag ocean traffic in the Black Sea consists of intra-Sovlet and Soviet-Satellite shipments. The Black Sea certainly accounts for atillion metric tons of the1 total ofillion metric tons of ocean freight carried in Soviet vessels.

Although the largest part of the Soviet merchant fleet is ln the Pacific area (Farraffic in that area probably is less than in any other major area, (intelligence on traffic in the northern sector of the Pacific is extremely poor.) Factors influencing this estimate are prevailing weather conditions, lack of industrialization, and the absence of large-scale trading partners. The Pacific probably accounts for no moreillion metric tons of the estimated total ofillion metric tone of total Soviet traffic lifted


d. Arctic.

The Arctic area, ia open to traffic for only frcno Ik weeks per year. It is estimated thato not moreetric tecs of Soviet-flag cargo annually moves over the Northern Sea Route ln the Arctic area.

2. Nature.

The nature of Soviet-flag ocean traffic varies appreciably according to the origin and destination of such cargoes. Traffic with other Soviet ports consists largely of raw materials and bulk cargoes such as lumber, grain, coal, and ores. There Is,onsiderable volume of industrial goods moving ln Soviet ships from Industrial centers such as Leningrad, Odessa, and Kcmsomol'sk to consuming centers ln the USSR. Traffic with the Satellites ln Soviet-flag ships consists largely of raw material exportslnimm of manufactured goods) ln exchange for consumer goods and Industrial products. In its dealing with the west the USSR attempts to move its manufactured goods, furs, and other high-value low-weight cargoes In Its own vessels, leaving the bulky, less valuable cargoes to Western ships. Imports from the West are generally moved in Soviet bottoms, since these are predominantly manufactured goods or relatively valuable bulk cargoes such as rubber or cork.

3- Domestic Traffic.

Analysis of available intelligence on the flow of Soviet-flag domestic traffic yieldsew general conclusions. Statistics on thc volume or nature of such ocean traffic are not published, and covert surveillance Is extremely difficult, since thc operations take place largely within Soviet borders.

a. Volume.

Despite the absence of organized information, certain conclusions can be reached as to tbe volume of Soviet-flag domestic traffic. Relatively few Soviet vessels (aboutercent) operate Into non-Soviet Bloc ports, and the bulk of the fleet trades either ln domestic or in Bloc waters. Domestic traffic may actually have accounted forercent of the annual ton-kilometerillion ton-kllometers) of the Soviet merchant fleet It is apparent, therefore, that,even allowing for laid-up tonnage and other factors reducing thc amount of shipping uvuilable for active service, the volume of domestic traffic far exceeds foreign traffic. On the assumption that domestic cargoes accounted forercent

of the traffic performance of the ocean fleet. It appears that such truffle approximatedillion ton-kilometers, while all other Soviet ocean traffic totaled onlyillion ton-kilometers.

The area comprising the Baltic Sea and Gulf ofrobably accountsajor part of the import and export traffic. Considerable activity Is apparent between Leningrad, Tallinn, Riga, Liepaja, and Klaipeda. Thereubstantial volume of trade exchanged between this area and tbe Black Sea ports. The Arctic ports alsoa email volume of traffic to Soviet ports on the Baltic Sea or in the Gulf of Finland.

In addition to substantial traffic between the Black Sea ports of Odessa, Rostov, Novorossiysk, Potl, andonsiderable amount of tonnage (grain, ores, oil) moves from the Black Sea area to Soviet ports in the Northwest and Far East areas. (Recent data are not available on the total volume of traffic, but in the prewar years the Black Sea ports led all other regions of the USSR in volume of exports.)

The volume of Pacific traffic Is largely confinedew ports. Vladivostok is tbe center of such traffic, being tbe main Pacific port of destination for traffic from the Baltic and Black Sea ports. From Vladivostok, relatively large tonnages go to Anadyr', Sovetskaya Gavan', Magadannd Okhotsk on the mainland to the north, to Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and to the Sakhalin Island ports. Tbe volume of traffic exchanned between the porta north of Vladivostok appears to be relatively slight.

b. Nature.

There is little organized information on the nature of traffic between Soviet ports In Soviet-flar. ships. Information is obtained almost exclusively from

other sources include intelligence Dacca upon observations of boviet ships in port or in transit, prisoner-of-war interrogations, and Soviet press reports. Certain tentative conclusions in regard to domestic trade patterns, however, can be drawn from such limited evidence. Por example, It la apparent that flour from Odessa or Novorossiysk to Vladivostokarge item in Soviet-flag ocean traffic. Likewise, cement from Novorossiysk moves to Leningrad and Vladivostok. Industrial products of Leningrad go via ocean transport to Black Sea ports, while Black Sea oil movec to Vladivostok.


In addition to tne foregoing typical long-distance traffic movements, there is considerable activity in regional merchant shipping. The nature of domestic traffic varieo considerably from one region of the USSR to the other. Export traffic obviously reflects the character of regional production, but Imports vary according to the particular needs of the various areas.

In the Arctic, export traffic consists largely of lumber, fish, minerals, and coal, while imports consist of foodstuffs and capital equipment. The main ports are Murmansk, Archangel, Molotovsk, and Igarka. The chief exports of Murmansk are lumber, fisheries products, and come minerals. Murmansk import traffic appears to be limited largely to capital equipment and general cargoes sufficient to support the minimum requirements of the inhabitants of the port and surrounding area. For thatomparison of the volume of exports and imports through Murmansk wouldreat disparity in favor of exports. Archangel, the center for Soviet lumber exports, accounts for one-third of all suchnother lumber export center iselatively new port reflecting Soviet interest ln developing tbe northern areas. About midway along the Northern Sea Route on the Tenloey River, Igarka, the largest city in Siberia north of the Arctic Circle, in probably the most Important coaner-clal port along the route. Tbe domestic export trade of Igarka consists almost entirely of lumber and timber. Providenlye, lyingomparatively short distance from Bering strait and Alaska, is of particular economic and strategic significance in the Soviet Far East. Coal of very good quality Is brought bycraft from the shallow waters of Kresta Gulf to the well-enclosed deep-water harbor of Providenlye for transshipment In larger ships to Vladivostok. Providenlye also exports furs which are brought from the interior and Imports foodstuffs from Vladivostok.

In tbe Baltic, Leningrad, Riga, LiepaJa,ond Ventspils are major ports for export and Import traffic. Leningrad is tbe chief port of the USSR, presently accountingarge part of all import trade and aboutercent of all Soviet exports (aboutercent. reat variety of goods, raw materials as well as finished products, move from Iyrningrad, lumber, pulpwood, and Grain constitute the bulk of the export trade, with machinery and Industrial goods making up the most import Riga, the largest city in the Baltic region, was lost to the USSR between Worldnd World War II. Since the assimilation of Latvia, however, Riga has become an important port in Soviet domestic trade, especially in exports. Although the eityenter for manufacturing machinery of various kinds, its water-borne exports are primarily lumber, paper, and other forest products. Liepaja is the second largest port in the Latvian SSR and has one great advantage overn that it io ice-free

cearly all the year. The chief domestic exports of Liepaja are grain and lumber to Soviet Baltic ports and Leningrad. Thc port of Ventspils, also in the Latvian SSR, is an industrial city (sawmills, cordage, glassut, like most other ports on the Baltic, its export traffic is primarily lumber, grain, and agricultural products.

Important Black Sea ports are Odessa, the leading port; Novorossiysk; Potl; and Batumi. Grain from the Ukraine to all parts of the USSR is the principal outbound cargo, but the export trade of Odessa alsoide range of general goods. tudy of traffic through the port of Odessa would reveal that exports predominate by at least two to one. or example, exports from Odessa to foreign andportshort tons ao compared with importshort tons In that Although this port is important for exportercent of all Soviet export tonnage, the importance of its Import trade can be gauged by the fact that ln the same3 percent of all Soviet Import tonnage entered through The port of Novorossiysk Is significant In Soviet domestic trade mainly for the export of Kuban wheat and cement from local milling plants. (Novorossiysk Is the principal cement-milling center of thend cement is shipped in large quantities to areas throughout the USSR.) The export traffic of Potl is devoted almost entirely to manganese ores from the Chiatura region of the Georgian SSR. Batumi, like Potl,one-cargot3 main export being oil from the Baku fields. Industrial goods and light manufactured products travel from Odessa to Batumi.

In the Pacific, Vladivostok, thc Far East terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, is the heart of all Soviet trade operations in the region. Foodstuffs, machinery, and other goods ere imported from the Western USSR, and fish free ports ln thc Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. Imports probably are as great as exports because of transshipping traffic.

exports of Vladivostok aresoybean products,

timber, and fisheries products. Import activity is greatest in spring, export trade In autumn. During winter the port is greatly hampered by ice, but Icebreakers keep the harbor open. Nakhodka is an auxiliary to the port of Vladivostok and is being developederminal for Western-flag ships to prevent surveillance of activities at Vladivostok. Nakhodka imports cxplosiven for construction work and is known toistributing point for forced labor and to import foodstuffs and materials for concentration camps. Exports from Klkolayevsk include large quantities of fish (salmon) and timber, and oil Is imported from Sakhalin. Th'; principal ennmodity exported from Petropavlovsk is fish products; Imports consist mainly of capital goods. Kagaycvo, thc port for Magadan, exports timber, special ores, gold, and furs. (If thc port were connected by rail with other areas, the importance

- lfl -


of Magadan would bo markedly Increased.) In any case, fron tbe trade and Industrial point of view, Magadan is now reported to be at least as important as Petropavlovsk. Tbe export traffic of the Industrial cities of Khabarovsk and Komsoaol'sk (actually on the Amur River but available to ocean trade) consists of soy beans, foodstuffs, and steel products of the Amur Valley and Manchuria. Khabarovsk is reported to be the chief transshipment center in the Soviet Paranking above Vladivostok in that respect. Thc port also has the great geographic advantageore centralized location than Vladivostok. Theports send raw materials, coal, and fish to Khabarovsk, Koraoscacol'sk, and other Soviet Pacific ports to the south. These ports also receive lumber from the Siberian ports, such as Anadyr' and Okhotsk, andgoods from Vladivostok and the Baltic and Black Sea ports.

U. Traffic with the Satellites.

Before World War II, in contrast to the present situation, the voluae of ocean traffic between tbe USSR and the present Satellites was of no great importance. The raw materials and basic commodities available for export in the USSR wereonsiderable degree similar to the export commodities of the Satellites. The manufactured goods of tho Satellites, moreover, went largely to the West, especially Germany, the UK, and the US. Soviet trade policy, furthermore, kept importsairtiaum. For example, for theercent (by value) of all Polish exports wont toH, and the USSR suppliedercent of Polish

There are no reliable or comprehensive data available on tbe volume of Soviet-flag ocean traffic with the Satellites, but there Is considerable general intelligence on the nature of such traffic. Sourcea on both topics consist of surveillance reports and official statistics from tbe countries concerned. Surveillance reports at best are very poor sources for reliable data as to either volume or nature of traffic, and official statistics usually are reportedalue or percentage basis or are lumped together inay as to be largely meaningless.

Despite the lack of definitive statistics on actual volume, certain conclusions are possible. For example, the USSR is thetrading partner of the Satellites, and thereising trend in the volume of ocean-borne traffic. This trend is especially true of East Germany, Poland, and Rumania, which account for tbe bulk of Soviet ocean-borne trade.

Soviet ocean trade with the Satellites varies from country

to country in both nature and volume. Soviet ships carrycargoes of Polish coal from Stettin (Szczecin) tof^ nonferrous ores, grain,

ercent of Polish cotton requireaents

From Rostock and Wlsaar the volume of traffic vith East .ermany is also large. Soviet ships are active in carrying industrial Roods, reparations and otherwise, to Leningrad and in bringing back lumber and grain.

The volume of traffic with Rumania is important. lift Rumanian oil, the major Rumanian export to the USSR,and transport it to Odessa and Nikolayev as well as toEast. In return, the USSR carries cotton, wheat, pig iron,by sea to

Soviet-flag traffic with Bulgaria is relatively slight ln vow. Bulgaria ships tobacco and agricultural products by sea from Bursas and Stalin (formerly Varna) to Odessa, other Black sea ports Leoincrad, and the Far Bast, receiving cotton from the Black Sea and Industrial goods from the Baltic ports.

Soviet ocean traffic directly with Hungry is ofexcept for on occasional eaall ship which sails upto Budapest. Ocean trading with Hungary is carried on Soviet ships load Hungarian machinery, bauxite, andand bring back raw cottonarge part of the totalrequirement being supplied by theerrous metals,other '

Traffic with Czechoslovakia is likewise carried on at foreign P? tuln^at terrwzy, Poland, and Rumania. Active trading through Poland via the Oder River and Stettin (Szczocln) probably accounts for tbe major portion of the total volume of Sovlet-flnr, traffic with Czechoslovakia, but there are also movements through Hamburc and Constanta. Cargoesf Industrial products and consumer goods, especially shoes, to the USSRide range of raw materials in return. Czechoslovakia la particularly dependent on imports of raw rate rials for its economy7 raw materials accounted forercent of allnd in the current East-West trade impasse it looks to the USSR for such imports.


Albania depends heavily on Soviet maritime traffic for most of itsmeacer requirements. Surveillance reports show, however, that few Soviet ships call at Albanian ports, the bulk of maritime traffic being carried by Satellite and Western ships. Duringor example, ofessels calling at Albanian ports,arried the Soviet Soviet-flag traffic to Durazzo and Valona consists of such basic goods as textiles, machinery, and industrial equipment. the Soviet chips carry hides, grain, livestock, chrome ore, and wool to Odessa and other Black Sea ports, and Albanian oil moves to Soviet Baltic One other important function of Soviet shipping to Albania is the supply of military garrisons, such military traffic probably far exceeding commercial cargoes.

the Qorthern far eastern parts of the

USSR and the Satellites is of little importance. Although surveillance in the northern part is poor, it is apparent that the Satellites can

usTmt^ JFi?nJustrlal requirements of that area and in turn can use little of its available exports. Actual surveys of the ship traffic between the USSR and the Satellites, furthermore, indicate that the USSR Pa/St5'^ British ships for much Soviet-Satellite traffic ln the Soviet

Soviet ship traffic to Chinese Communist ports until recently has been limited mainly to Infrequent calls at Dairen from Soviet Pacific ports exceptew voyages from Baltic and Black Sea ports with general

SSZL of soybean Products. Recently, however, the

volume of such traffic has increased and may become of some importance. Several calls have been made at Tsingtao (Ch'ing-tao) and Ta-ku to take on cargoes of iron ore and soybeans for Black Sea and Baltic ports. One of

one of lroa ore at for

5. Traffic with Kon-Bloc Countries.

A detailed survey or available data, including Lloyd's Shipping Index, indicates that the volume of Soviet-flag ocean traffic

^ iStn comparison

with domestic and Satellite operations. Analysis of the voyage pattern of Soviet shipping over the pastonths Indicates that although the number has increased steadily, possibly because of Far East supplyno more than aboutercent of the Soviet merchant fleet is active outside Bloc waters. Onor example, onlyleet "Src actively engaged in operations outside Bloc (For disposition of Soviet merchant shipping

to aon-Bloc waters as ofee the acconpanylneCai Tyaf pattcr^ns' 6ee Appendix B, which is basedetailed study of operations over the past yearalf. Despite

actir"ythe Blocurvey of Soviet ship movements shows that operations outside the Bloc are largely confined to European and Mediterranean

c ^snlPs not touched at OS ports since

Soviet-flag operations to the Western Hemisphere are now confined to very rare calls at Central American and Caribbean ports to pick up

letJDfPS ^at Pacific island ports except the areas adjacent to the Southeast Asianew calls ^hJcar* to Australian ports to pick up wool cargoes for

Occasional calls (aboutonth) are made at Alexandria

to discharge wheat from Odessa and pick up cotton and rice for Black Sea

under the current Egyptian-Sovietagreement alls at other ports on the African largely to the Mediterranean and North

In recent months the Soviet merchant fleet hasreat show of calling at Indian ports to deliver insignificant cargoes of

^ cargoes of fibers (such

as jute and textiles for the USSR, and Indian coal has been discharged at Italian ports. The actual volume of Soviet traffic with India has however been relatively India and Ceylon, however, have

il7,eit0 Pf?VldC^heof strategic eommtdlties

including oil, rubber, and industrial equipment obtained through devious transshipment channels. Complete data on the nature and volu^cF^ xrainc in soviet chips obviously are not available,ufficient number of fragmentary reports are at hand to warrant this assertion.

ov>et_ftraffic with Southeast Asian ports such asand Hong Kong is surprisingly slight. Singapore is Important mostly

nanS.L t^ t0 tbe 8orM Far Easf; very

handled. Hong Kong is also unimportantraffic port of call for

Soviet vessels. For example, during the second week of

?L , at thecarried the Soviet fla*. This

* Following



ve-scl, -urthermore, vas reported to be the first such ship to call at Hong Kong since the spring

WJthJfeCt5rnconstitutes tbe bulk of non-

Bloc Soviet shipping traffic (possibly as much asercent ofcargoes lifted). Soviet ships load and* ^except SpaSf It

1*itmKhhowever, that cargoesloaded usually exceed those discharged in both volume and value? InlS

Sovict"fJjlGarrive in ballast at European

f Soviet European

* PoW and Brain from NovorossiyskSf1*tosnips?

Uft amachinery, copper

consigned to Black Sea

ports Prom Palermo, Soviet vessels take citrus fruit toespite Western restrictions on industrial traffic with theTKSR tf7^

F?ch of such *rade naturally moves

Soviet ships whenever possible, to escape surveillance.

FrenchaiTyconsider&We traffic with I' TrarfiC tetween tue "SSR and Northern France moves mainly

Sou^tS oS thff ried ^trIai output^

i I UP the Selnc' affordst0 thedischarged generally are lumber, naval stores, grain,goods are loaded. Soviet Black ^snlpf

call infrequently at minor French Mediterranean ports such as Seta nly two soviet ships called at Marseille between^ and.Tr^lT3UX' occaslonalohlps carry wire andnd Baltic ports and return with coal, raw chemicals, and food producls

imilar situation exists with respect to cargoes of Soviet ori^n

Soviet-flag traffic with Portugal consists primarily of occasional cargoes of cork loaded at Lisbon for Odessa and Leningrad in exchange for Black Sea grain or White Sea timber.

Antwerp has been one of the leading ports for Soviet-flag shipping on the Continent. Activity is, however, quite irregular and during recent months may have begun to decline as the result of the tightening of Western trade controls. For example, no Soviet-flag ships called at Antwerp duringeeks ending1 in contrast to four calls during the first half of the previous August alone, four In July, eight in June, and six in Soviet ships bring lumber, pit props, and related products from Baltic and White Sea ports and return to Leningrad and the Baltic portsreat variety of industrial goods and semifinished and raw materials now in short supply in the USSR or goods on restricted trade lists. One significant aspect of the traffic Is the fact that Soviet ships often enter or leave Antwerp in ballast, indicatinghortage of suitable export goods or Soviet urgency for the cargoes lifted.

Soviet-flag traffic with the Motherlands is relatively heavy and Is concentrated In the port of Rotterdam. Four to six ships call at Rotterdam each month (the number varying somewhat) from Leningrad and the ports on the Baltic. Uo/ The vessels bring in coal, coke, and timber, carrying out general industrial cargoes similar to those lifted in Antwerp. Rotterdam, like Antwerp,ajor Western European center for sensitive cargoes moving to the USSR, often in violation of trade restrictions. There Is little Soviet-flag traffic with West Germany, and it is not possible to establish any pattern of trade.

Soviet ships are active in trade with Sweden, Finland, andesser degree with IJorway and Denmark. Ul/ Polish coalajor cargo at present, but the high price demanded is forcing these countries to seek supplies elsewhere.

Although the USSR iseading trade partner of Sweden, the fairly small volume of ocean traffic is of some strategic sienificance. For example, Soviet ships bring ln Polish coal, upon which Sweden is greatly dependent, and take out iron ore from Lulea. Soviet ships also call at Stockholm with asbestos, other raw materials, and furs from Leningrad. On the return voyage they carry machinery and special steel products such as ball bearings and technical equipment to Leningrad. There is also considerable traffic carried in Soviet-flag ships between Soviet Baltic and Polish ports and The general pattern of trade may be described as the carriage of raw products to Stockholm in return

for industrial and finished/

War tt Vramc Vlth Flnland' negligible beforethe large volume

J ^red aB reParatIon3 to USSR. For example, duringive Soviet ships called atuch of tl

tbc existence of rail lines across the adjoin-

W>rt^;< E^Pf1 FiDDlBhof call are Abo and Helsinki for import traffic, while Kotko, on the Gulf of Finland east of Helsinki is

w CXPOrt trfflC" FlDnlSn ^

Leningrad, but cargoes also move to Riga, LIepaja,and othe? Sovietlaltlc

a the usual Soviet traderoducts, such paper, machinery, and textiles, are 1 resting deviation from this*?lumber and timber produces such

XiTS,rJP ^ the "SSR- Soviet ships also carr? coal

il cake froffl East Germany to Finland and bring back typical Finnish exports to Gdynia and Rostock/

. . Soviet-flag traffic with Horway is sUght, although Sovietin carrying In Polish

Soviet-flag shipping transports dairy products, meat, and Industrial goods from the Danish ports of Aarhus, Copenhagen, and Odense

vRl8a' TamnC' oon ores, and grain from Soviet and Satellite ports


trade with the UKide range of commodities

which are complementary to the needs and production of each country. art',lf Qotmajor portion, of this trade was carried In British vessels, but since World War II Soviet ships have sreatlvation. orrcent of British exports to the USSR went In Soviet-flag ships. 4s/ Soviet shins also are increasing their share of timber bound for th?Vfrom the WhSe Sea Soviet vessels call at Hull, Liverpool, London, and othS UK ports with cargoes of lumber and timber products from Leningrad and the Arctic pc^ (ifaxMiwk, Archangel, Igarka). Fux is another Sor^ant item of


quanUtles of Black Sea grain to the UK and pickide variety^?

British-manufactured industrial products along with commoditSs Zchas wool and rubber origlnatinB elsewhere but transshipped In the UK

Although this exchange of trade apparently is of great Importance to each country andarge portion of all Soviet-flag foreign trade, the dollar value is fairly slight. or example, Imports directly from the USSR accounted for less than one-hall'ercent of the total dollar value of all UK imports, while exports (includingto the USSR accounted for slightly moreercent of the value of all UK/ These percentages, furthermore, are considerably less than the comparable percentages for the years prior to World War II, when the USSR accounted forercent of the UK import trade and slightly lessercent of the export trade. hj_/

C. Trends.

The trend in Soviet-flag ocean traffic, as reported by Soviet sources, has been fairly Bteadily upward in recent years despite definite peaks and valleys in the trend. For example,9 carriage of goods by sea wasercent higher than0 carriage exceeded that9 The plan to0 turnoverercent1 was met, accordingeport by the Council of Ministers of tbe Traffic plans2 are not available, but it is likely that slight increasesoercent are scheduled.

Despite the steady Improvements reported In cargo-handling, the performance of the Soviet merchant fleet is unsatisfactory to Soviet For example, although freight turnover was scheduled to increaseercent0he actual Increase was onlyn this basis it is estimated that0 the traffic performance of the Soviet fleet totaled aboutillion ton-kilometers. (This estimate is arrived at by applyingpercent increase reported by tbe USSR0 figure ofillion ton-kilometers, previously quoted in an official Soviet)

Although ton-kilometer performance increased byercent0he increase in tons of cargo carried by the Soviet-flag merchant fleet1 is estimated to exceed only slightly3 million metric tons carried (This estimate is derived by dividing theillion ton-kilometer performance estimated for the fleet0 by the average haulilometers planneddjusted io accordance withercent increase in ton-kilometer performance reported by the USSR for


m- Significance of Soviet-Flag Traffic to thc Economy of the USSR.

Despite its small shape, estimatedercent, of tbe total Sovietload, the traffic carried between Soviet ports by the Soviet merchant marine Is an Important factor In maintaining the present levels of the USSR's domestic economy.

The curtailment or elimination of these services would adversely affect the over-all Soviet transportation pattern to the extent that this traffic would have to be superimposed on tbe existing burden carried by the Soviet railroads. Althougho kO billion additional ton-kilometers could probably be performed annually by the railroads to accommodate such traffic, serious bottlenecks probably would develop, requiring the readjustment of priorities for shipments. For example. If cargoes of wheat, cement, and oil now carried to the Far East by sea were routed by rail, they would almost certainlythe traffic in high-priority industrial and war materials now being carried over the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the Hanchurlan railhead destined for China.

Soviet shipping operations over the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic area are of great significance to the USSR and have been consistently emphasized in Soviet long-range planning. The economic expansion now under way ln the Arctic and North Pacific areas includes important forestry and miningwhich are inaccessible to land transportation and depend entirely on ocean transport for their maintenance and the carriage of their products to consuming centers. Operation of the Northern Sea Route alsoecondary means of transport for transcontinental traffic during certain months of the year.

Soviet-flag ocean traffic with the West is not of great significance. mall portion of the Soviet merchant fleet trades with noc-Cotncunlstand although the goods transported, such as timber from the White Sea and grain and manganese ore from the Black Sea ports, ore important as sources of foreign exchange, they could presumably be carried entirely by Satellite or Western vessels. The ability of the USSR to charter any required tonnage from the West eliminates the requirement toarge fleet to meet its demands for merchant tonnage, which are highly seasonal ln nature.

Tightened shipping controls by the West would, however,roblem for Soviet foreign trade. The USSR Is carrying Increasing quantities of Itsand grain trade, but the bulk of the traffic moves ln foreign ships. Denial of this essential foreign tonnage would certainly hamper greatly the Soviet foreign trade program and might even force some economic reorientation.



Area and Port




Footnotes follow on




Area and Pert

Long Tone)-








furs, fish

pulp, fer-



pulp, dairy















N.A. Lumber,.

Lumber, pulpvood, flaxlax, grain Paper, textiles, lumber




Baltic (Continued)



Corpo-Handling city b/ Long Tons)



Oil, fertilizer, coal, sugar, cement

Textiles, macbin-ery, grain


airy products, grain

airy products, it










Ocheachiri* Odessa*


manufactures, foodstuffs


machinery, oil, coal, cement


lllk, lumber, fruits, manganese, tobacco

Grain, coal, su^ar, tobacco


Grain, lumber Grain, Iron ore,*

linseed, woolimber, coal,*

iron ore*il cake, iron

ore, manganese

Iron ore, oil, coal,


sbestosrainteel products,

rails, vegetable oil,

wool, lumber

f f


iZIZCTZD marittkb ports OF




Cargo-Handling Capacity /

Area and

Black Sea (Continued)



Area end Port

Pacific (Continued)

Cargo -Handling Capacity

i/jiy; Tons,


paper, fish, coal




fish, coal.


coal, ores*



paper, coal.



tin cans


paper, fish


lumber, fish







Area and Port

CapacityLong Tons)

li/ Exports %J

machinery,* Timber,ish

Agricultural products,


ports and major items of traffic of strategic significanceby an asterisk.

on the basisong tons of military cargo perour day; the alternate capacity for general commercial cargo is some-

what lover.




2. In Domestic Trade (Continued)







. The adequacy of intelligence on Soviet merchant shipping varies greatly. On some topics, Information is considered adequate, whereas information on other important aspects is extremely sketchynlyuideroad treatment of the subject.

The lack of accurate information on the amount of Soviet.merchant shipping laid up or inactive for various reasons constitutes' an important and pervasive deficiency. Without firm information on the/size of the -merchant fleet In active operation, any estimates as to Meetand traffic capabilities are necessarily subject to7considerable error.

The scare ijjy/of detailed information on constitutes an loportant weakness In ln1 shipping. All/recent data are based upon, polations of questionable statistics dealing with/fulfillment of the various

volume of traffic on Soviet merchant estimates and intcr-ial reports from the USSR For that reason. It is


toirm either an over-all or

on the volume of Soviet ocean basis.

exports is adequately known, ition on the specific nature of many Satellite ports.

The general nature of Soviet but thereeed for more inf. cargoes', especially those bound

Intelligence on Soviet ports is inadequate in some respects. In many instances, no current details are available as to port facilities, harbor conditions, traffic clearance, cargo-handling capacity, and various other factors necessary for an appraisal/of port operations and capabilities.

contrast to the satisfactory data on exports, there arc important gaps- In intelligence on the nature of Soviet-flag import traffic. Little detailed information is available on Soviet imports from the Satellites, much of the traffic from the West is shrouded in the secrecy of trade tctices and official statisticseneralized nature.




The process of evaluating the accuracy of the various documents actually selected for this report involved the following two principal procedures: evaluation by comparative observations and by comparison of sources.

by Comparative Observations.

It was found that the accuracy of many documents could be checked by the simple process of comparing the content of the document with the large body of available intelligence on the topic, developed in many instances over some years of experience. For example, Soviet documents dealing with the high state of efficiency of the merchant fleet were simply discounted in the light of numerous actualof dirty, ill-kept, poorly operated vessels.

by Comparison of Sources.

Simply stated, this procedureecision as to whom to believe. ypical instance of choosing between sources might be Illustrated by citing UK data on imports from tbe USSR rather than Soviet data on exports to the UK. Both might be "official" data, but thereo question as to the comparative reliability. Other less obvious instances of such choosing of sources might be those made on the basis of evaluation of the intent for which data are collected or disseminated. It is axiomatic that Soviet data are not published simply for their technical or economic value to outsiders. Western statistics, on tbe other hand, are not generally subject to such temptation to slanting and are preferable, if available.


1- Evaluation of Sources.

Sources uaed In this report fall principally into tbe following five categories, evaluated in their relative order of importance:


Based on Bon-Soviet Sources.

These reportside range of topics, such as ship characteristics, ports of call, and nature and volume of traffic. The world-wide reporting services of Lloyd's covering merchant shipping activities are fully exploited. Except for errors inherent in on-the-spot surveillance, these reports are considered to be quite accurate.

Based on Soviet Sources.

These reports contain Soviet data which have been evaluated by OKI and deal with General aspects of the fleet. They are usually statistical ln nature and are subject to considerable error.

by the Department of State.

These reports are very similar to those describedbove, with the exception that information is slanted less toward military aspects and more toward economic intelligence. They are considered to be quite accurate, subject mainly to coverage limitations and errorsIn surveillance.

c- Soviet Press and Soviet Technical and Official Publications.

These itemside range of subjects, contributingto virtually all sections of this report. They are of particular Importance to the sections on the volume and nature of Soviet Bloc The statistical data contained ln these sources are questionable, but the descriptive material, although often general in nature, is probably true, being frequently confirmed ia large part by the sources described In a, above, and e, below.

- UiT


These reportsonsiderable number of SO surveillance reports and documents as veil asranslations of Soviet technical and official material not generally available (not Included in c, above). They are believed to be fairly reliable, with the caveat that tbe performance statistics in many official Soviet documents are extremely optimistic and in some Instances probably untrue.


These reports are of little value except to confirm certain physical or basic factors unlikely to change, such as port conditions and veather. In some instances, however, they form the main sources for those topics and cannot be disregarded. They generally have two basic drawbacks: the information is old, and they are largely the observations of untrained, closely guarded individuals and are thus extremely vague, conflicting, and random ln nature.

2. Sources.

Evaluations, following tbe classification entry and designatedave the following significance:


Completely reliable

Confirmed by other source

Usually reliable

Probably true

Fairly reliable

Possibly true

Not usually reliable


Not reliable

Probably false

Cannot be judged

Cannot be judged

not otherwise designated are those appearing on the cited document; those designated "RR" are by the author of thi6 report. No "RR" evaluation Is given when the author does not disagree with the evaluation on the cited document.

1. . Current Status of the Soviet ana Satellite Merchant C. Eval. RR 2.

(This is oneontinuing series of statistical studies. It is the best available source as to tbe status and disposition of the Soviet merchant fleet. It may overstate the site of the fleet to some degree, since It lists in thearge number of ships vhlch have not been reported in recent months and which may no longer be operational.)

Information received sincehe cut-off date of this report, generally confirms the conclusions reached in this report. Unpublished data,lso from ONI (S. slight increases for the figures given In Tables follows:

Type ofof






2. Ibid.

(For additional data on Lend-lease tonnage, sec CTA/RRerchant Shipping in the USSR,- Ibid.


Lloyd's Register of, as reported in Records and

Statistics Supplement to the Economist,. U. Eval..

(Considered to be the most accurate source available.)

data from9 data from NISUSSR),

SectionMerchant MarineTT. C. Eval. RR 2.

(NIS data, prepared by ONI, on fleet tonnages and distribution

have the came possibility of error as described in note- . C. Eval. RR 2.

(The estimate of cargo lift may actually be somewhat high but is

tbe best. ONI, unpublished data (S. Eval.IA/ORR estimates.

(These estimates are based on detailed studies of activity and are

believed to be close to actual operating conditions.)


9- Department of the Army, Technical, unpublished data (S. Eval.IA/ORR estimates.


(The major part of these estimates has been prepared by the Department of the Army on the basis of latest port data, translated Into cargo-handling capacity estimates using factors generally agreed upon. They are believed to be accurate to withinercent ln eitherorskoy Plot, No.ited InW^ C. Eval.. (Descrlptlve-data such as these arc probably fairly accurate.)


Morskoy Plot, No.ited ln CIA CO-tf/


(These increases appear to be reasonable and are estimated to be fairly accurate.)

. C. Eval. RR 2.

Soviet Transport Economy,l; published by Eval..

(Prewar ot-vU such as these from Soviet sources are believed to be fairly accurate in general terms but are not to be relied on for detailed information, because of the use of poor statistical techniques and Incomplete data.)

15- Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17- JANIShapter VI (Ports, Shipping and7

C. Bval TO 2.

(See note "- ve.)

18. V ited above. C. Eval.-

19> Vodnyy Transport, No. C. Eval..

oviet technical publication.)

20. JANISEuropeanhapter VT (Ports, Shipping and. c. evqJ, rr 2.

21- Ibid.



Theodore Shabad, Geography of the. U.

Eval. RRBased on Soviet sources.)


Wladomoscl Statystyczne,uoted In Margaret Dewar,

Soviet Trade with Eastern, U. Eval. RR 1.


Diamond, Czechoslovakia between East and West,,

. U. Eval. RR 1.

,9 from CDICNELM, l4 S.

Eval.. {Surveillance report.)

S. Bval.-

(Surve1llance Jointroa Singapore,2

C. Eval..

(Surveillance ONI, unpublished data. S. Eval. RR 3-

(An actual count by CIA/ORR traffic analysis. S. Eval..

(Basedontinuing study of traffic surveillance; estimated

to be reasonably accurate.)

rom S. Eval..

(Surveillance report.)

6 C Eval-.

(Surveli1- eport.)

C. Eval. RR '

(Honghinese State, from U. Eval.. (Surveillance report.)

rom Marseille, U. Eval..

(Surveillance report.)

, from Antwerp, S. Eval..

(Surveillance report.)

rom The Hague, S,

Eval.. (Surveillance report.)

SO, S. Eval RR 1.

ery useful and probably accurate summary of trading patterns.)

SO, RR 1.

(Surveillance report.)

SO, RR 1.

(Excellent source for cargo descriptions, probably based on actual Inspection of manifests and/or cargo.)

rom c

Eval. RR 1.

(Surveillance British Admiralty, Monthly Intelligence Report,. Eval..

(Based on official trade statistics.)



k6. Foreign Commerce Yearbook, US Departrjcnt of 0. Eval..

ki, rbid.

48. Pravda, U. Eval. RR 3.

(Although thisoviet source, it nay be fairly. TASS, Moscow, U. Eval. RR 3-

(Soviet statistics for domestic and foreign Staterom Moscow, R- Eval. RR 3-

ery high official Soviet TASS Broadcast on Plan Fulfillment, Moscow, l6

U. Eval. RR 3.

(Soviet radio H. Schwartz, Russia's Soviet.

U. Bval. RRT

(An excellent study, based largely on Soviet sources, which

has received somewhat general Vodnyyo.ited above. C. Eval. RR CIAof the Plan of Hauling on Railroad

Transport, Eval. RR 3-

(Soviet statistics which do not appear unreasonable and

which are possibly Deportment of the Army, Technical, unpublished data

(S. Eval.IA/ORR Soviet published sources; State and ONI reports; CIA SO and

eporU. S. Eval. RR ONI reports; CIA SO andeports. S. Eval. RR 2.

Original document.

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