TRENDS IN SOVIET SHIPPING AND SEABORNE TRADE (ER SP 74-10)

Created: 6/7/1974

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CIA HISTORICAL REVkvV PSOGRAft RELEASE IN'FULL

cnttai Intelligence Agency

Summary

wo-year lull, additions to the Soviet merchant fleet surgedeadweight tonsheir highest level Fleet capacity rose5 million DWT. The vessels added to the fleet did little to meetneeds for larger and more technically advanced ships. One-half of the new tonnage consisted of general purpose dry cargo vessels and timber carriers0 DWT, capable of carrying containers, but poorly suited for moving them efficiently. One-third was made up of dry bulkew of them larger than any units previously assigned to the small Soviet bulk fleet. Tankers and containerships each accounted for less thanf the DWT delivered. For the first timeome of the acquisitions were used vessels. Deliveries during the second half4 are likely to include the USSR's first ships largerWT, but they probably will be chartered to foreign shippers for use outside of Soviet trade. Little progress has been made into deepen Soviet ports to handle these larger vessels.

Failure of the Soviet fleet to carry moref6 million tons of US grain imported3 isattributable to the preponderance of small general-purpose vessels and timber carriers (as opposed to dry bulk

carriers) in the Soviet dry cargo fleet. The number of cargo lines served by Soviet ships increased fromn3 ton The number of lines offering container service increased towith emphasis on feeder operations linking Soviet Baltic ports with Western Europe as part of the Trans-Siberian landbridge. Seven Soviet cargo lines now serve the US.

Soviet seaborne foreign< trade2illion tons comparedillion tons This was the best growth Itoubling in volume of import cargoesled by grain, crude oil, and superphosphates. however, decreased for the first time since at9 as trading volumes with important non-Communist trading partners including Italy, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Egypt, and India fell off. Volume with Cuba, the USSR'sCommunist partner in seaborne trade, rose

Table of Concents

Ship

Fleet

Fleet

Scheduled Liner

Soviet Seaborne Foreign

List of Tables

Table

Soviet Merchant Fleet Size and Growth 2

Deliveries of Dry Cargo Vessels ana 4

Tankers to the Soviet Merchant Fleet

ot US uraxn to the USSR, by 8

Carrier

International Cargo Lines

4

Seaborne Foreign

1. Additions to tho Soviet merchant fleetJeadweight tonsheir highest level6 and almost twice2 tonnage. As seen in Tablehe fleetessels of more5 million DWT at the end As such, it accounts for% of world tonnage and remains the seventh largest in theosition held for ten years (see tabulation below).

Hill ion

Deadweightof

as ofuneTotal

World

Liberia

Kingdom

.6

States (Active)*

With scrappings of Liberty ships and other World War II and older ships on the increase and almost two-thirds of its tonnage less thanears old, the Soviet fleet isyoung. Nonetheless, most of its major qualitative limitationsthe small sizes of its largest tankers and dry bulk carriers; its lack of large, fast, full containerships; and the complete absence of roll-on/roll off vessels and LASH

" Excludingillion DWT of obsolete government-owned tonnage in the reserve fleet.

Si

and Growth

as

Increase

ecember

Tonnaqe

Year

.8

A

-CONniOTlAt-

(lighter-aboard-ship) barge carriers persist. Ship Deliveries

analysis of the composition ofeveals limited progress in up-grading the fleet

(see The standdown in tanker acquisitions (evidentontinued as deliveries dropped to three vessels

he lowest inears. In the dry cargo sector, emphasis was on general-purpose vessels* (suitable for service as part containcrships) and on dry bulk carriers. These types accounted, respectively, of delivered tonnage, full containerships less

* Including timber carriers.

one new class of full containerships,Fa deyev, was introduced TheseDWT vessels, currently the largest in theontainers and are no match for advancedcontainerships with capacities as highand speeds up tonots. Most of the3 were either timber carriershandle lumber in packets of standardized dimensionspurpose dry cargo ships. All of them fall0 DWT range and, with the possible exceptionIgor Grabar' class, are adapted for use as part Their important characteristics are listed below:

ombination oil/bulk/ore carrier

uitable for service as part containerships

Class

iner

DWT Capacity Knots

Zhukov Pioner Moskvy Rostok

Nikolay Novikov Igor' Grabar'

USSR ry cargo

Packaged

dry

Packaged timber 0 carrier

Packaged timber arrier

ink

0

only other new series-produced vessel0 DWT Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya-class bulkaddition of this vessel, plus two used bulk carriersDWT,sed bulk carrier0 DWTefforts to overcome the fleet's lag in this The largest dry bulk carrier in the Soviet fleetbeginning3apacity of0 DWT. dry bulk carriers at that time exceeded

urchases of used ships were the first by

the USSR since In addition to the three bulkers mentioned

above, three largo passenger ships, two small bulk carriers

of around0 DWT, DWT combination oil and dry

bulk carrier (the first to join the Soviet fleet) alio were With

oviet efforts to deepen existing ports lagging and

lhc opening of deep water facilities at new ports in the Black Sea and the Far East still far off, the USSR has been bime-chartering its two largest ships (the combination carrier and0 DWT bulk carrier) to foreign shippers for use in the cross trades.

The used ships added to the fleet3 were acquired under charter/purchase plans. This approach permits hard currency payments for the ships to be spread out over longer periods (up toears) than outright purchase.

Additional progress in the acquisition of larger and more advanced ships is anticipated The lead ships in

as many as five important new classes may be delivered before the end of -the year, including the domestically-builtWT tankers; the Polish-builtWT Marshal Bud-yennyy-class OBOs; the East0 DWT Mercur-claas full containerships with speeds ofnots; the French-built AkaderoikWT roll/on-roll/off vessels; and the polish-built Inzhener Michulskiy-class roll/on-roll/oft vessels. Moreover, it is also likely that the first ofWT tankers orderedharter/purchase/from the UK will enter the fleet. These ships and0 DWT product tankers also intended for the Soviet fleet were originally partarger order placed with the British shipbuilding firm Swan Hunter by the Israeli company Maritime Fruit Carriers.

CfWENflftL

All ships0 DWT added Co the fleet4 probably will be time-chartered to foreign shippers until the problem- of draft limitations in Soviet ports is overcome. Fleet Performance

9. The near doubling of ship acquisitions3 led to increased fleet output, upillion ton-miles2illion ton-miles This growth equals the average annual rate called for under5 Five-Year Plan. The fleet performed poorlynd exceptional efforts will be required45 if the plan goalillion ton-miles is to be met. Carriage by the fleet, which increasedillion tons2tonss in line with the Plan schedule and5 targetillion tons probably will be met. Fleet Operations

10. The increase in fleet carriage3 largely mirrors increased movement of bulk cargoes (particularly, grain from the US to the USSR) by the tramp portion of the dry cargo fleet. 2 Soviet shipsons of grain from the US,3illion tons. As shown in Tableoviet carriage of grain cargoes fell far short of the minimum one-third share available under the US/Soviet Maritimeof Soviet ships handled; US; and third-filag. During the first four monthshese figures, ,espectively.

wumm.

Table 3

Shipments of US Grain to the USSR, byMetric Tons

Carrier

of

Flag

i .9

5

5

i .

...

r>

1 Because of rounding, components may not add to the totals shown

limited role of Soviet ships in the grainresults from the small size of the dry bulkOnlyessels larger0 DWTDWT at the end Host of the vessels innine million DWT dry cargo fleet areand timber carriers0 DWT and under. Theyof carrying grain, but not efficiently. avoid using these ships,,it is likely that theadditional third-flag bulk carriers in0

0 DWT range. Their own smaller general-purpose vessels and timber carriers probably were used to earn hard currency in the carriage of Soviet exports or cross trade cargoes for foreign charterers.

a decrease in total tanker tonnage, oilby the Soviet fleet3 approximated the level Soviet tankers not only moved petroleum exportsSea, Baltic, and Far Eastern ports in the USSR, butagain active in the cross trades. They hauled aof Iraqi crude to Bulgaria and East Germany onand lesser amounts from the Persian Gulf toand Indonesia to Japan. The voyages forearned good rates in hard currency. Somecarried grain from the US to the USSR; otherspetroleum products to the US.

-9-

"fffttHWCALTSM

Scheduner Operations

number of scheduled cargo lines servedcargo ships increased fromno At the same time, the number of linesservice rose from The new lines serve

the following routes: Southeastacific Soviet Blackuba, Soviet Baltic/Westernastern Mediterranean, Soviet Baltic/ Finland -Netherlands/Belgium, Sovietelgium. With the introduction of the Southeast Asia-Pacific Northwest service there are now seven Soviet cargo lines serving US ports. container service stems from the fact that the lines to Belgium were containerized from the start and ships able to carry containers were introduced on two existing linesthe joint line Sovietrance (Atlantic) and the unilatera line Soviet Balticest Germany.

Soviet cargo lines are being considered onof routes, all originating in Soviet Black Seawould serve the Philippines, Australia, the eastSouth America, Japan, and Italian ports on thenew line to Italy will be containerized and plansunderway to containerize existing Black SeaCuba and India.

4

USSR: International Cargo Lines4

Lines Operated Unilaterally by Soviet Steamship Companies

MurmanskBaltic/Westernastern Canada/Great Lakes a/

Baltic/WesternS East Coast (BALT-ATLANTIC) a/ c/

Baltic/Westernustralia b/ c/

Baltic/Westernew Zealand b/

Baltic/Westernaribbean, US Gulf,

and West Coast of South America (BALT-PACIFIC WICAS) a/

etherlands/Belgium (BALT-SCAN) a/ c/

est Germany/Netherlands c/

Sovietelgium c/

ast Coast United Kingdom (Hull) c/

AR (SCAN-MED) a/

Baltic/Westernastern Mediterranean (BALT-LEVANT)

weden (E. Coast)

Company

Lithuanian Latv ian DanubeDanube Ranube alack sea Black Ssd Black Sea Black Sea Black Sea 3iack Sea

V

Azov Caspian

orway and Denmark Sovietest Germany c/

Sovietast Coast United Kingdom (London/Tilbury) c/ Sovietear East (Lebanan, Syria, UAR, and Cyprus) Sovieturkey Sovietorth Africa

Sovietreece Soviet Blackersian Gulf {Iraq) Soviet Blackorth Vietnam Soviet Blackuba

Southeastestern Europe/Soviet Black Sea (ODESSA OCEAN) a/ Soviet Black Sea/Kediterraneanastern Canada/Great Lakes b/ c/ Soviet Blackast Africa/Red Sea Soviet Blackurkey/Greece

Soviet Blacktaly

Soviet Blackear East Soviet Blacklgeria

Iran (Caspian)orth Sea (viaaltic Waterway) a/

Illli

I

15

Jl

II

Lines Operated Jointly by Soviet and Foreign Steamship Companies

Company

Baltic Baltic

Estonian Estonian

Latvian Latvian Latvian Latvian Latvian Black Sea Black Sea Black Sea Black Sea Fat East

Sovietast Coast United Kingdom (London) c/

Soviet Baltic/Westernast Coast of South America b/ (BAL7AMERICA)

Sovietest Germany

Baltic/Westnrnest Africa (UNIAFRICA) b/

Sovietest Coast United Kingdom c/

Sovietast Germany c/

Sovietrance (Atlantic) c/

Soviet BalticNetherlands c/

Sovietelgium c/

Soviet Blackulgaria c/

Soviet Black. c/

Soviet Blackndia/Ceylon

Soviet Blackouthern France

Soviet Farapan

of Foreign Partners

British

Polish and East German

West Gernan

Polish and East German

British

East Gernan

French

Dutch

Belgian

Bulgarian

Egyptian

Indian

French

Japanese

line operatinglargely or entirely in the cross (or transit) trades*

conference line operating largely or entirely in the cross trades.

offering full or partial container service.

Soviet Seuhorne Foreign Trade*

five years of steady but modest growthrates ranging betweennd, of Soviet seaborne foreign trade went upo moremillion tons2 (see While importsfromillion tons1 toxports dropped for the first time in at least

illion tons.

purchases in the second half2 were

15

the major factor underlying the/million ton increase in Soviet seaborne imports. They surgedillion tons1 to aboutillion tons The largest increase'imports from the US (uponsillion tons! Imports from Canada (including diversions to Cuba) nearly tripled,illion tons.

statistics also reflect growth in importrillion tons1 This increase is due mainly to purchasesEast crudeillion tons from thein Iraqillion tons from Libya.

As"bf this writing, djto fromoviet foreign trade handbook were not available. This discussion therefore focuses on developments in

Soviet Seaborne Foreign Trade a/

Million Metric Tons

.8

5

6

5

a. These data from the Soviet foreign trade handbook

exclude seaborne trade whether carried on vessels of

the Soviet Ministry of the Maritime Fleet or foreign vessels.

Mf-'ROFNTML

The Iraqi crude went largely to Rulgaria and East Germany, most of the Libyan crude to the USSR. Superphosphate imports also increased0 tons1 toons The major sources for this commodity probably were Belgium, tne united Kingdom, Spain, anu Japan.

illion ton fall-off in exports isto cutbacks in shipments of petroleum tocustomersJapan,illionillion tons; andtons. Although total petroleum exportsof the growth was accounted for by shipments to countries that moved by pipeline and Danube Exports oi coal and coke by sea to Bulgaria,ana France also fell ouring the year, byU0ons.

Soviet seaoorne foreign trade is with developed

Italy,

non-Communist countries. /Finland, West Germany, the US, and

Japan headed the list2 (see Tabulation).

Tonnage ofMetric7 2

9

0 (est)

West (est)

US

United

UWrtTirTnTAL

among its communist trading partners/ cuba accounts for the largest volume of soviet seaborne trade. nonetheless, east germany, poland, czechoslovakia, and bulgaria are the most important both in terms of value and tonnage (in that order) when all modes of transport are considered. ighof soviet trade with these countries moves by rail, highway, pipeline, and danube river barge.

tonnage of trade* (million metric tons)

country

(est)

(est)

(est)

.9

(est)

1

.a.

vietnam

20. more than one-third of the ussr's trading partners are developing countries, yet they account forittle moref total soviet seaborne trade. egypt is by far most important. soviet-egyptian seaborne trade2illion tons, down fromillion tons in both0 next in importance is india whose trade with the USSR stoodonsillion tonsillion tons because the soviet trade handbook excludes some categories of aid cargo, the egyptian and indian totals, as well as those for othercountries that receive soviet aid, almost certainly arc understated.

many of the seaborno trade with east ave to be estimated because of the lack of current by mode of COHUQUU^M-

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