Transportation Costs

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Transportation Costs


the total costs related to shipping freight and passengers. Freight shipping involves expenditures for loading and unloading, moving (shipping) the freight from the points of production to the places of consumption, and packing (packaging), if such packaging is necessary only for moving the freight, not for storing or selling it. Expenditures incurred during movement of passengers include transport via the various means of transportation and service to the passengers at the points of departure and destination (terminals, ports, and stations).

Expenditures for shipping freight and moving people within enterprises are not included among national economic transportation costs in the distribution sphere but rather are part of production costs because they are part of the technological process of producing the particular output (shipping raw materials and fuel from storage areas to shops, moving materials and semifinished parts from shop to shop, moving finished products from shops to finished-goods warehouses, or taking miners down into the mine and bringing them back up using elevators or cableways).

Social transportation costs are not the same as the costs of transportation enterprises. In addition to expenditures for shipping freight and moving passengers by general-purpose transportation, social transportation costs must also include the expenditures of industrial enterprises incurred on the railroad sidings that connect them with general-purpose transportation. Expenditures of the national economy for moving passengers by general-purpose transportation are included among social transportation costs. The costs of transportation enterprises are made up of their expenditures for shipping freight, loading and unloading it, storing it, and so on.

The absolute magnitude of transportation costs depends on the volume and cost of shipments. No complete annual record of transportation costs is kept. According to rough calculations, total national-economic expenditures for transportation by all types of transportation in the USSR (except expenditures for packing) were more than 30 billion rubles in 1969, with about 88 percent of this spent for freight shipments (including almost 24 percent for loading and unloading). In view of differences in the prime cost and average distance of shipments, the share of particular types of transportation in transportation costs does not correspond to their share in freight turnover. Thus, in the USSR in 1969, motor vehicle transportation accounted for about two-thirds of total transportation costs for freight shipment, railroads for about one-fourth, maritime transport for about 4 percent, and river transport for about 2 percent. In transportation costs of intercity passengers, railroad transportation accounted for more than one-half of all expenditures, air transport for more than one-fourth, and general-purpose motor vehicles (buses) for more than 15 percent. Because the share of railroad transportation in intercity passenger conveyances is systematically decreasing and the share of buses and especially of air transport is increasing, the shares of these types of transportation in overall transportation costs are changing accordingly.


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