Rationalization of Cargo Transport in the USSR

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rationalization of Cargo Transport in the USSR


a system of measures aimed at eliminating crosshauling, excessively long shipments, and repeated shipments of product and the resultant unproductive economic expenditures. Irrational shipments can be eliminated in part by bringing industry closer to the sources of raw materials and fuel (energy) and to the consumption points of the finished products after careful consideration of the transport factor. Rationalization is aided by developing the national economy comprehensively in terms of the economic regions of the nation. It is also aided by distributing freight shipments among the various means of transport correctly and in such a way as to take account of the economically advisable spheres of use for each means of transport and how these means of transport interact. The planning of material and technical supply, deliveries, and shipments can be improved so as to exclude irrational shipments. In addition, the transportability of the freight before shipment can be increased by baling cotton, hay, straw, or metal chips; bundling freight; containerizing; and loading cargo on pallets.

Irrational cargo shipments are eliminated primarily by optimum planning for the location of production and consumption in the various regions of the nation and by establishing rational transport and economic ties between these regions. Such optimum planning requires the solution of problems with numerous variables. It is necessary to have complete basic information on the location of resources and on the consumption of individual types of product. It is also necessary to have comprehensive fundamental data on shipping and storage expenditures resulting from the alternative means of supplying the national economy with a given amount.

Nowadays, the most advantageous ways of assigning consumers to product suppliers are generally chosen with the aid of mathematical methods and computers. When optimum plans for supply, delivery, and shipment are formulated to meet current planning goals—with given quantities assigned for production and utilization by regions and localities—a transport problem of the open type is decided. In this instance, the optimality criterion of plans is a minimum of shipping outlays. Optimum transport plans are approved in the form of general network diagrams of normal freight flows for each bulk cargo individually. These diagrams are obligatory for freight consigners and transport organizations. Many years of experience have shown that the elaboration and use of normal (optimum) freight flows make it possible to reduce economic expenditures on shipments by an average of 4 to 6 percent; for freight of decentralized production and consumption (brick, mineral and building materials, reinforced-concrete items), savings can amount to 20 percent and more.

In long-range planning, when the problems of the rationalization of cargo transport and the location of production are being solved simultaneously, the optimality criterion is the achieving of a minimum amount of aggregate economic expenditures on the production and transport of a given product.


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