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There are simply too many ships operating – it is the core reason why the shipping lines and shipowners are bleeding cash. The easy answer is to scrap as many of the older and more inefficient vessels as possible and bring supply back in line with today’s tempered levels of demand, but with Chinese yards continuing to build ships at prolific rates that is a distant prospect. And it is likely to be rendered even more unlikely by new European regulations governing ship scrapping – or recycling as shipowners are wont to call it – that will preclude European shipowners from selling their vessels to Bangladeshi and Indian breakers. That said, this splendid report from Chittagong explores the terrible conditions suffered by those working on Bangladesh’s beaches, and is accompanied by a fantastic photo gallery.

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