03 Jul 2024

Maritime stories: Kåre Møllerhagen


Besides being great places to meet and get to know new contacts, trade fairs are also the perfect place to catch up with people you haven’t seen for a while. Kåre Møllerhagen falls into this second category; he is responsible for the maritime activities of Seal Team, a Norwegian sealing company active in a variety of markets. As well as working for Seal Team’s own clients, Kåre is also AEGIR-Marine’s sales agent for Norway. He caught up with the AEGIR-Marine team at the 2022 SMM in Hamburg; below is the story from this meeting.

Like many people working in the sector, Kåre’s first experiences with the maritime industry go all the way back to his childhood. His father was responsible for the research laboratory at Det Norske Veritas DNV for more than 40 years and Kåre would often join his father at work. “I was quite fascinated by that,” he says. “I guess that was the reason why I chose to work in the maritime industry.”

As well as his father, Kåre’s mother also had an influence in his relationship with the sea. She took him swimming in Oslo fjord when he was young. “There are some islands just outside Oslo where you can go in the summertime. That is my first recollection of seeing the sea and, even today, there is always a little bit of emotion. There is always something calming about watching the sea.”

Complimenting not competiting
After many years working in the maritime sector, Kåre’s career path brought him into contact with AEGIR-Marine. He joined Seal Team in 2018 as dedicated salesperson and agent for AEGIR-Marine, working primarily with clients based in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.

“Of course, there’s a lot of other maritime activity outside these three big cities; Norway is a long country with a lot of other industries; oil and gas, fish farming and pelagic fishing are all big. There are a lot of shipyards along the coastline too. That is where we have been focusing our efforts.”

And even though AEGIR-Marine and Seal Team are both in the ‘seal business’, the two companies are not in competition with each other. On the contrary, Kåre notes that the joint market coverage is complimentary. “AEGIR-Marine works a lot on sealing technology, which is different from Seal Team, we work mainly with mechanical seals.”

Norway’s challenging terrain
In terms of geography, Norway and the Netherlands couldn’t be more different. One is famous for its flatness; the other is best known for its 1000+ fjords. The AEGIR-team at SMM were curious to ask if that had an impact on how Kare carried out his work. “It’s a difficult country to travel in; we have a lot of fjords, mountains, a lot of weather. It can be challenging.”

Challenges, however, are there to be overcome and Kåre’s work with the numerous shipyards dotted along the imposing Norwegian coast demonstrates how. If a yard needs parts from AEGIR, Kåre puts his well-oiled wheels of logistics into motion. “AEGIR has a huge stock. If we order seals by three in the afternoon, they send it with DHL to Oslo, and we will make sure that the shipyard will have the parts the next afternoon.”

Career advice
Just as the rest of the people working in the maritime industry around the world, Kåre has opinions about the environmental impact of shipping. “The big problem, of course, is CO2 emissions and the ‘fuel question’. Ammonia is an option. Hydrogen is also on the table, but I think it will be more or less a combination of different technologies. Some people have even talked about using small nuclear power plants, but maybe this is far-fetched at this point, but at least it’s emission free.”

At almost 62 years old, and having spent (almost) his whole working life in the maritime industry, it feels appropriate to ask Kåre about the next generation of maritime workers. Would he recommend working in the maritime sector to someone just starting out on their career?

“The maritime industry will never die; it has a big heart and there will always be a job for you,” he replies. “There will always be vessels sailing from A to B bringing goods, toys, cars, refrigerators, raw materials, whatever. And it’s a very dynamic industry where no two days are the same, you won’t get bored for sure.”

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