The application of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to formulation of strategy concerned with the safe carriage of bulk liquid chemicals in maritime tankers was examined in this study. A qualitative investigation using SWOT analysis has been implemented successfully for ships that are designed to carry liquid chemicals in bulk. The originality of this study lies in the use of SWOT analysis as a management tool to formulate strategic action plans for ship management companies, ship masters and officers for the carriage of dangerous goods in bulk. With this transportation-based SWOT analysis, efforts were made to explore the ways and means of converting possible threats into opportunities, and changing weaknesses into strengths; and strategic plans of action were developed for safer tanker operation. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.