Characterization of ship breaking industry in Bangladesh

Mohammad Sujauddin, Ryu Koide, Takahiro Komatsu, Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, Chiharu Tokoro, Shinsuke Murakami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Dismantling (or “breaking”) of ships invigorates global shipping by replacing older ships and recycling or reusing as much as 95 % of their materials. Recently, Bangladesh is dominating global shipbreaking. Here, we aimed basically at expounding the inflows of the ship breaking industry (SBI) in Bangladesh from the perspectives of origin, types, and lifespan of dismantled ships in order to develop a better understanding of this industry. The inflows in SBI have been increasing and the tonnage dismantled rose to a record high of 2,308,525 LDT (light displacement tonnage) in 2009. Interestingly, ships dismantled in Bangladesh were relatively younger having the mean age of 27 years. Of the outflows from ships dismantled, reusable/recyclable steel comprised 85 % of the total weight of ships; the rest were machinery, hardware, fittings, and consumable items. The major hurdle we faced was the unwillingness of stakeholders in disclosing available but relevant information due to widespread suspicion. We suggest that keeping organized records and their disclosure is critical to developing a comprehensive understanding of this industry. We are hopeful that this research will pave the path for continued objective scientific investigations into the contributions, both positive and negative, as well as the evolution of SBI in Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • Bangladesh
  • Lifespan
  • Material flow analysis
  • Ship breaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanics of Materials


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