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Tribute

Klas Brogren – Shippax' founder

In a tribute article published in the local newspaper, Klas was described as “unknown in his hometown of Halmstad, Sweden, but well known in the rest of the world”. It is hard to find a cruise or ferry organisation anywhere in which Klas’ name is not known and respected.

Shippax did not spend much money on advertising and promotion. Instead, Klas travelled the globe in person and met with key people in the passenger-shipping sector. Many of them became his lifelong friends.

Klas was one of the very few people who had successfully turned his hobby into a viable business. His interest in ferries was already firm and well established in his teenage years.

When he turned 15, he was given money to buy a moped. Instead he bought a typewriter, so that he could start writing about passenger shipping. That was the first decisive step he took towards becoming what he was later known for. His success was thus not a coincidence, but an outcome of a determination that was rare in such a young age.

During his high school years, Klas was already contracted to write for the Swedish Maritime Gazette (Svenska Sjöfartstidningen).

At the tender age of 17, he was employed as a consultant by the then Tor Line when they, in 1973–1975, designed new ferries for service between the UK and Sweden.

Klas wanted to devote his life to a profession within the shipping industry. So, after leaving school, he went on to be trained as a shipbroker.

It is therefore fair to say that his successful career was based on his broad and profound knowledge of shipping, coupled with an immeasurable enthusiasm and an unparalleled creativity in his chosen field.

As an entrepreneur, Klas had a modern approach to his business. In his ever-expanding pet project Shippax Database, for example, he had included information on ferries, cruise ships and shipping companies all over the world. He had developed Shippax into a modern shipping information enterprise that published three annuals, a monthly industry magazine, organised an annual international industry conference, as well as providing analytical and consultancy services, etc. This combined with his unabated networking activities created a very successful business concept.

We are in deep mourning over the untimely departure of a true friend. Many of us are left wondering how much more contribution he could have made to shipping and to enriching all of our lives. The shipping world has lost a guiding light and has been deprived of a central pillar. His charm, humour, and boyish playfulness will live on in all of us.

We are reminded of his favourite 1969 ferry, STENA DANICA and feel stranded on a beach after his passing.

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