The 50-60s: the role of JSC “Sovfracht” in the development of transport system.
After the end of the war, the main aim of Soviet Union was to develop and restore the national economy. The main goal set for the marine fleet was to increase the turnover by 2,2 times by 1950 compared with the pre-war level. Transport played a decisive role in the restoration of industry in the postwar period. Since 1946, JSC “Sovfracht” has resumed its work on chartering foreign and soviet tonnage. Moreover, began the development of liner transportations in the structure of JSC “Sovfracht”, also again organized a claim-legal department, a conjuncture and economic sector, which deals with the analysis of the market and forecasting the dynamics of freight rates, was created. Employees of the conjuncture department also conducted special dossiers for foreign companies.
JSC “Sovfracht” had to solve an important economic task of distributing the planned volume between the soviet and foreign fleet, forecasting the situation on the freight market and calculating foreign currency allocations for chartering intonnage based on an analysis of aggregate factors. Employees of the JSC “Sovfracht” had to determine the timeframe, the sequence of entering the market, the ratio of the voyage and time-chartering freightage, to distribute freight abroad between branches of JSC “Sovfracht” and not to cause an artificial increase in rates on the market.
Also, two important decisions of the Politburo CPSU of the Central Committee, initiated by the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and JSC “Sovfracht”, should be noted. These decisions determined the future fate of Soviet merchant shipping. Firstly, it was decided to switch from a tonne-mile assessment of the fleet’s work in foreign currency to monetary, i.e. in the form of monetary efficiency and the amount of net foreign exchange earnings. Secondly, one of the most important points was the introduction of line navigation on the most important directions of import and export instead of a regular one. The linear form of exploitation of fleet provides the cargo owner more stability, regularity, elasticity of service and guarantees delivery of cargoes in time. In the second half of the 1950s, in partnership with national ship owners in the Indian and Egyptian directions, the fleet was transferred to linear forms of exploitation, and in 7-8 years the USSR ports were connected by joint and unilateral lines with all major ports of all continents (at the beginning of 1962, JSC “Sovfracht” had serviced 8 Soviet and 8 joint regular lines, on which 65 ships were employed). Because of it, JSC “Sovfracht” was given additional functions and tasks, such as:
• The function of the towing line agent of all Soviet and foreign line ship owners;
• The function of a linear cargo acquirer of foreign trade associations;
• The function of the developer of conditions of transportation and the sizes of rates of linear tariffs;
• Modification of voyage bills of lading to line bills of lading.
In fact, JSC “Sovfracht” managed to implement the most successful principles in practice of transport logistics and now it is called the achievements of transport logistics.
The development of the principles of marketing of foreign trade associations ensured the accuracy of forecasts for the increasing role of freight forwarders, and the approach of the JSC “Sovfracht” to line service as a form of public services with stable tariffs allowed the transport complex of the USSR to cope with important state tasks for the building of big industrial and energy facilities abroad (In India, Egypt, Vietnam, Cuba and other countries of Asia and Africa).
In addition to direct freight transportation, JSC “Sovfracht” in the late 1950s - early 1960s was engaged in forwarding and transit operations, supervised the work of transport and forwarding offices in seaports and border crossings. Specialists of JSC “Sovfracht” became wide-profile, universal professionals, which are able to quickly master advanced logistics technologies in combined and multimodal communications.
In 1950s JSC “Sovfracht” took part in the operations to assist the fraternal republics, carrying out responsible government assignments. For example, JSC “Sovfracht” worked in Vietnam in 1954-1955, it was necessary to transport several tens of thousands of people with their household belongings, military equipment (tanks, artillery pieces, mortars, ammunition), horses and seven battle elephants. Work on the organization of transportation in Vietnam was conducted by JSC “Sovfracht” in close cooperation and interaction with the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of the Navy, the headquarters of the Soviet Navy. For this operation JSC “Sovfracht” chartered three ships into a time charter, and the Ministry of the Navy allocated motor ship "Arkhangelsk" and motor ship "Stavropol". In the process of carrying out the assignment, employees of JSC “Sovfracht” had to face many difficulties, however, despite everything, all the transportations were carried out on time.
In the 1960s, the volumes of chartering of tonnage under the freight of foreign charterers decreased, and the volumes of chartering of inotonnage increased. The main goal of JSC “Sovfracht” during this period was to ensure the transportation of foreign trade cargoes. In August 1962, JSC “Sovfracht” moved from the Ministry of Foreign Trade to the Ministry of the Navy, with the exception of freight-forwarding departments, which are not connected with chartering; “Soyuzvneshtrans” was established on the base of these departments.
The Soviet Navy has developed; it became possible to earn currency by using ships on transportation of cargoes of foreign charterers in ballast and passing directions. The Soviet tanker fleet became an essential source of foreign currency. The income from chartering tankers increased more than 7,5 times from 1965 to 1968. In 1966 incomes from transporting cargoes of foreign charterers exceeded the cost of chartering of intonnage.