Freight Routing

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Freight Routing


a system of freight shipping by fixed routes (in a complete set of cars) from one or several railroad stations to a destination (station, pier, port) in a single region for unloading. Freight in this system is moved according to plans of freight routing drawn up by the railroads.

Freight routings can be divided into forwarding routings, dealing with cars loaded by a single shipper at a single station (pier or port); multistage routings, set up for cars loaded by different shippers at one or several stations (piers or ports) in one or two districts; and routings arranged for specialized routing bases established on the outskirts of areas where much traffic originates. Depending on the distance from the destination point, the forwarding and the multistage routings are divided into local (intraroad) routings, if the shipments are transported within one railroad system, and network routings, if the shipments pass through two or more railroad systems. The routings with fixed sets of cars moving between predetermined shipping and destination points are called circular routings.

In the railroad system of Russia, freight routings started at the beginning of the 20th century but ’were casual in nature. Even such mass cargoes as coal, iron ore, and grain were almost never routed.

From the very first years of Soviet power, considerable attention was paid to questions of freight routing. In 1926 the People’s Commissariat of Railroads convened a congress on freight routing. Multistage routing was developed from a proposal in 1932 by V. T. Osipov, a Hero of Socialist Labor. In 1944 the organizational plan for setting up routings from loading points became an integral part of the general plan of forming freight trains. In 1971 in the USSR three times as much freight shipping was handled by railroad routings as in 1951.

Freight routing is one of the most important means of speeding up movement of cars through switchyards and local stations, shortening the turnaround time of the railroad cars, cutting shipping costs through the reduction in switching operations at the stations, decreasing the requirements for investments to build railroad stations, and facilitating the rational use of rail-road technology. Shipping freight by routing methods contributes to speeding up the turnover of the circulating assets of the national economy, since freight movement by routing is much faster than other means of moving freight by rail.

The experience gained in freight routing in the USSR has been applied by other socialist countries.


Osipov, V. T. Marshrutizatsiia perevozok i povyshenie ee effektivnosti, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?