Volga Basin River Ports

Volga Basin River Ports

 

major water transportation centers organizing the transport of cargo and passengers along the Volga River and its tributaries, linking the industrial regions of the Volga Region, the Central Zone, the Kama Region, and the Urals with various river points in the basin. The Volga basin river ports are linked with all the seas in the European part of the country—with the White, Baltic, Azov, Black, and Caspian seas—by the creation of a single deep water transportation system and the completion of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, the Lenin Volga-Don Ship Canal, and the Lenin Volga-Baltic Waterway.

The Volga basin river ports originated and developed with the growth of the economy and population centers in the Volga Region, the Kama Region, and the Central Zone and also the Volga basin’s fleet. Before the revolution, almost all of the cargo was handled manually. The total facilities for mechanized loading and unloading operations consisted of a ramp in the city of Kamyshin and a grain elevator in the city of Samara (now Kuibyshev).

The construction of berths and other port facilities and the outfitting of ports with mechanical equipment have been in progress since 1931. The ambitious construction of hydroengineering complexes (consisting of dams, power stations, reservoirs, and the like) on the Volga and Kama cascades has led to the construction of new ports and the modernization of existing ones.

There are more than 900 ports, landings (cities that are small ports), and terminals of the Ministry of the River Fleet in the basin and about 550 berths belonging to industrial enterprises. In 1968 the ports and landings of the Volga basin accounted for about 50 percent of the total volume of loading and unloading operations at the berths of the Ministry of the River Fleet system; 99.7 percent of the work was done by machines. In ports and landings of the Ministry of the River Fleet, 294 gantry cranes, 221 floating cranes, and more than 1,200 other loading machines were used in loading and unloading operations in 1969, which was about 40 percent of the total number of transshipping machines of the ports of the Ministry of the River Fleet.

The principal ports (from the upper reaches of the Volga to its mouth) are Kalinin, Cherepovets, Rybinsk, Yaroslavl, Kineshma, Gorky, Cheboksary, Kazan, Ulianovsk, Tol’-iatti, Kuibyshev, Saratov, Volgograd, and Astrakhan. The ports of the Moscow River and the ship canal play an important role within the basin. The ports and landings beginning at the upper reaches of the Kama are Berezniki, Levshino, Perm’, Chaikovskii, Kambarka, Naberezhnye Chelny, and Chistopol’.

With the exception of the ports of Astrakhan and Moscow’s Severnyi, all the ports are linked to the railroad network by railroad branch lines.

The ports and landings of the Kama shipping system account for 17 percent of the total volume of loading and unloading operations in the Volga basin. Other ports and landings of the basin are Riazan’ on the Oka River, Ufa on the Belaia River, and Kirov on the Viatka River. The shipping season in the basin’s ports ranges from 180 days (Perm’) to 240 days (Astrakhan).

Petroleum, petroleum products, salt, gravel, coal, grain, cement, metal, vegetables, fish, and other products are shipped upstream on the Volga; timber (on boats and in rafts), lumber, mineral construction materials, and industrial materials are shipped downstream. Coal, timber, lumber, sulfur pyrite, metals, chemicals, mineral construction materials, petroleum, and petroleum products are shipped down the Kama, and salt, vegetables, and industrial and food products are shipped upstream.

Petroleum and petroleum products are loaded and unloaded at berths belonging to industrial enterprises (petroleum yards and refineries), and grain cargoes are handled at the berths of elevators and grain-receiving depots. When the Moscow Ship Canal went into operation, three ports were established in Moscow—the Severnyi, Zapadnyi, and Iuzhnyi ports. They unload timber, coal, salt, grain, paper, and ore, and they ship out industrial products, construction materials, chemicals, quartz sand, and other products. The Moscow ports are situated within the city limits and account for more than 20 percent of the cargo loaded and unloaded in the Volga basin river ports. There are two passenger terminals in Moscow—Severnyi (in Khimki) and Iuzhnyi.

Kalinin (established in 1961; previously a landing). Cargo berths are situated on the right bank of the Volga, and the passenger area and terminal are on a spit between the Volga and Tvertsa rivers. The port’s activities extend 182 km up-stream and 87 km downstream along the Volga.

Cherepovets (1960). Cherepovets’ port is situated on a spit between the lakorba and Sheksna rivers and assumed major importance with the opening of the Lenin Volga-Baltic Waterway. It transships coal, metal, coke, timber, ore, salt, and mineral construction materials. The port of the metallurgical plant unloads iron-ore concentrate from the Kola Peninsula and ships furnace charges to the ports of the Don Kuban’ basin and for export.

Rybinsk (1942). The port is situated on the right bank of the Volga within the city of Rybinsk, 0.5 km below the mouth of the Cheremukha River. The port’s activities extend 26 km upstream and 51 km downstream along the Volga, 161 km along the eastern shore and 127 km along the western shore of the Rybinsk Reservoir, and along the Mologa, Sit’, and Sogozha rivers. Pit coal, salt, and ore are loaded from ship to rail and individually crated cargo is loaded from rail to ship.

Yaroslavl (1948). The port is situated within the city of Yaroslavl, and its activities extend 53 km upstream and 54 km downstream along the Volga. It receives coal from the Donets Basin, mineral construction materials, and individually crated cargo; it ships out timber, equipment, automobile tires, and other goods.

Gorky (1932). This port is one of the largest water-transport hubs in the basin, situated at the confluence of the Oka and Volga within the city of Gorky. Its activities extend 95 km upstream and 170 km downstream along the Volga and 45 km along the Oka from its mouth. It receives coal from the Donets Basin (for the heat and electric power plant of the city of Dzerzhinsk), cement, salt, mineral construction materials, and industrial and food products. It ships out lumber, mine supports, automobiles, equipment, and individually crated cargo. The port consists of the Tsentral’nyi, Oka, and Volga cargo areas and a large passenger terminal.

Kazan (1948). The largest port in the Volga basin, it transships cargoes that are being transported by water alone or by rail and water. The port is situated on the left bank of the Volga River within the city of Kazan. Its activities extend 57 km upstream and 123 km downstream along the Volga and 340 km up the Kama River. The port receives coal from the Kuznetsk Basin (for the city’s heat and electric power plant), mineral construction materials, and industrial and food products and ships out Siberian timber and products of Kazan enterprises. A considerable proportion of the port’s operations involves the extraction of sand-and-gravel mix and gravel from deposits in the Kama River channel. This quarrying is done by floating cranes and dredge pumps. The port includes the Tsentral’nyi, Volga, and Kama cargo areas, a travel agency, and a number of landings, the largest of which are Chistopol’ and Naberezhnye Chelny. The basin of the Tsentral’nyi Cargo Area and the passenger area are protected by a breakwater.

Ul’ianovsk. The port is situated on the right bank of the Kuibyshev Reservoir within the city of Ul’ianovsk. Its activities extend 100 km upstream and 91 km downstream along the Volga. It unloads mineral construction materials and industrial and food products for the cities of Ul’ianovsk and Saransk and ships out coal from the Kuznetsk Basin (to Leningrad), automobiles, and foodstuffs. The port has cargo areas and a passenger area (rebuilt in 1969) and includes a number of landings, the largest being Sengilei and Melekess. The basin of the port is protected by a breakwater.

Tol’iatti (1957; construction of the port was completed simultaneously with the Volga Hydroelectric Power Plant). The port is situated at the head of the Lenin Hydroelectric Power Plant on the left bank of the reservoir. Its activities extend 59 km upstream and 15 km downstream along the Volga. Principal cargoes handled in the port are coal, ore, mineral construction materials, timber, industrial and food products, and automobiles, spare parts, and assembly components.

Kuibyshev (1948). The port is situated on the left bank of the Volga River at the confluence of the Samara River within the city of Kuibyshev. Its activities extend 50 km upstream and 55 km downstream along the Volga. It transships timber, coal, mineral construction materials, and individually crated cargo. The port has the Verkhnii Mol and Gorodskoi mechanized districts. The largest landing belonging to the port is Syzran’.

Saratov (1948). The port is situated on the right bank of the Volga River within the city of Saratov. Its activities extend 277 km upstream and 160 km downstream along the Volga. Coal, ore, salt, mineral construction materials, food and industrial products, and timber are the principal cargoes trans-shipped by the port.

In addition to cargo areas, the port includes a travel agency and various landings, the largest of which are Vol’sk, Khvalynsk, Akhmat, Marks, and Rovnoe.

In connection with the construction of the Saratov Hydroelectric Power Plant and the development of industry in this area, construction of the port of Balakovo is under way; it will receive salt, coal, sulfur pyrites, timber, and chemicals and will ship out grain, metal, and other cargoes.

Volgograd (1938). Volgograd’s port is a major water transportation hub linking the Donets Basin with the Urals and the Upper Volga Region. The port ships coal, grain, industrial and food products, and vegetables upstream and receives timber and mineral construction materials. The port’s activities extend 230 km upstream and 180 km downstream along the Volga. Its districts are situated within the cities of Volgograd (Tsentral’nyi) and Volzhsk. Kamyshin is the largest landing belonging to the port.

Astrakhan (1934). The port is situated on the left bank of the Volga River within the city of Astrakhan. The port’s activities extend 313 km upstream and 100 km downstream along the Volga. It transships timber, coal, salt, industrial and food products, mineral construction materials, and vegetables. The port is not linked to the railroad network. Car-goes are transferred from river vessels to seagoing vessels by floating cranes.

Perm’ (1943). The port of Perm’ is a large transshipping hub on the upper Kama for cargoes coming by mixed rail and water transport from the depths of Siberia to the central regions of the European USSR. It is situated on the left bank of the Kama River within the city of Perm’. The port ships out coal, timber, ore, mineral construction materials, and individually crated cargo. It receives salt, mineral construction materials, and individually crated cargo. The port includes the Gorodskoi and Zaostrovskii cargo areas, a passenger area, and a number of landings.

REFERENCE

Rechnoi transport za 50 let. Moscow, 1967.

V. F. BEREZIN

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