In 2023, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation continued to provide high-quality services: we provided ships with pilots 24/7, and continued building a future-proof organisation. There were also setbacks. It was a turbulent year, and global crises continued to disrupt trade. Within the organisation, the new system for setting pilotage rates prompted concerns. And 2023 was also a sad year. For the first time since we became independent in 1988, we had to cope with an accident in which one of our colleagues lost his life.

The financial result for Dutch Pilots’ Organisation was negative in 2023. We piloted fewer ships than estimated, and there was a drop in the fee for the use of registered pilots. Overall, the price cap system for pilotage rates, the economic decline caused by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis led to a drop in pilotage activities and revenue. The economic situation also changed the demand in terms of types of vessels and cargo alike: more dry and liquid bulk, and fewer container ships.

Within the organisation, we have also taken steps in making the transition to a future-proof, smarter and more-sustainable Dutch Pilots’ Organisation. The foundation on which piloting activities rest is thus as strong as ever.


Sustainability has become an integral part of the strategies the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation pursues. Many of our vessels are connected to cleaner onshore power, taxi transport will be partly electric, and the ‘Mare’, which will enable us to achieve fuel savings of 30% compared to an L-class tender, will be commissioned in 2024. We are also heading for cleaner and more sustainable replacement of swaths in the River Scheldt region. Efficient planning is helping to reduce the number of pilotage operations, and of arrivals and departures by pilotage vessels. Major environmental gains can be made in the sector through the smoother handling of shipping traffic: seagoing vessels that make unnecessary rounds because they have to wait for a berth or a service provider emit unnecessarily large amounts of CO₂. A pilot service that runs like clockwork and that shares logistical information with all stakeholders is thus essential. To further enhance the sustainability of our pilotage resources, our organisation has committed to expanding the use of biofuels.

Data as an engine of change

Many of the innovations the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation is introducing are data-driven. This year, we kicked off the Lutine project, which allows us to better monitor the fuel consumption, emissions and behaviour of each vessel. Lutine is another step in further reducing our carbon emissions. Together with the CO₂ performance ladder, which we have been using since 2018, it is an important tool for monitoring our impact on people and the environment.

Data is also useful in today’s tight labour market, and it will have an influence on the profiles of our employees in the future. One example is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the ways in which technology can take over tasks previously done by people. 

The Dutch Pilots Organisation: independent for 35 years

In 2023, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation celebrated its 35th year. Unfortunately, storm Ciarán meant we had to postpone the symposium we had been planning on holding, on 2 November 2023, to officially celebrate the occasion. We are not going to dwell on that for too long, though, because in the end a storm is just part and parcel of pilotage. The celebration will take place on 7 March 2024 instead, together with the ‘Innovation and Sustainability for the Future’ symposium. We are happy to be engaging in this dialogue with our nautical partners. 

A sad farewell

Colleagues from across the organisation were hit hard by the first fatal accident since our organisation was founded in 1988. We suffered the loss of a dedicated and experienced employee in an occupational accident at sea, near IJmuiden. The tragedy reminds us of how vulnerable we are, and how important it is that we continue to fight hard for safety in our work.

In 2023, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation also said goodbye to a beloved colleague from the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region after a long illness. In his farewell letter, he said the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation was a “wonderful company, with wonderful people”. I couldn’t agree more. I would therefore like to thank all my colleagues for their efforts over the past year. I am proud of all the people who make up the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation. I would also like to thank our outside stakeholders for the trust they have put in us. It is only through close cooperation that we can achieve the results we do.   

Willem Bentinck,
President of the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Corporation (NLc)

2023 at a glance

Unrest in the world now seems to be a given. Wars in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world, as well as fluctuations in the energy market, are having a noticeable impact on both the nature and the volume of commodity flows. The number of voyages fell by over 3.6% to 91,228, and revenues declined by 1%. In addition, costs fell by €2.6 million, thus making the actual loss €1.3 million lower than budgeted. Steady progress has been made on many projects that have enabled the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation to further improve its services and take new steps towards a sustainable future. 

A new rate-setting system

With the introduction of the new Dutch law updating the market regulatory system for registered pilots (Wet actualisatie markttoezicht registerloodsen, Wamr), pilotage rates were set differently to before. An increase in the estimated number of trips to be piloted would mean the price cap system, and not the cost plus system, would apply. In the case of a drop in the number of trips, the cost plus system would remain in place. 

In 2023, the price cap system was applied for the first time. The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) set the 2023 rates based on those for 2022, supplemented by an increase tied to the wage-price index, minus a 2% discount for an anticipated improvement in efficiency. 

The starting point of the calculation was an increase in the estimated number of trips to be piloted. That increase did not materialise, and revenues declined. As a result, the anticipated economies of scale also proved unattainable, partly because our organisation has to provide a high level of service with round-the-clock availability 365 days a year.

The Dutch Pilots’ Corporation (NLc) and its members have major concerns about the impact of the Wamr. There is a real possibility that we will not break even if rates are based on the price cap system. It is expected that this will in turn have an impact on the quality of service. And a price cap discount will mean that, in the future, vessels will have to wait for a pilot. The significant costs of such a delay to a seagoing vessel will far outweigh the discount imposed on the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation. This will also apply to other service providers and the entire value chain, not to mention the environmental impact each waiting ship will have. We are consulting with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on this. 

New Approach to Compulsory Pilotage

Experiences with the New Approach to Compulsory Pilotage (Loodsplicht Nieuwe Stijl, LNS) varied by region. NLc is facilitating the captains’ Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC) training within LNS. The North region is pleased that the maximum width for ships on the Eems has been increased, thus making captains of more ships eligible to take A, B or C PEC training. The Amsterdam-IJmond region saw little effect from LNS, partly because ships there operate less on fixed routes. In the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region, the number of candidates for PEC training fluctuated.

Efficiency and sustainability projects

The proper and secure exchange of information is key for the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation as a link in the vulnerable nautical chain, both within and outside the organisation. In several regions, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation is an important party to cooperative partnerships for the security and optimisation of the value chain. Examples include the Joint Interactive Service Provider System (Gezamenlijk Interactief Dienstverleners Systeem, GIDS) and FERM, the Port Cyber Resilience programme, in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region. 

In 2022, we started the RADAR project, under which new software is being rolled out to replace the outdated SAP software. This has been done with modules for HR and Crew Affairs. The transition is a major undertaking, and we have already learned an important lesson: not all departments can get their own customised system. In future, a single system will thus be used as much as possible.

The Lutine project: going sustainable, thanks to IT

IT is an important tool for sustainability. In 2023, the Fleet Management, Shipping Service, and ICT departments launched the Lutine project, with the objective of developing a ship performance monitoring system. The idea is to monitor, report on and verify emissions from pilotage tenders. Data read 24/7 makes it possible to analyse fuel consumption in combination with navigating behaviour. That will allow us to carefully identify and resolve problems. 

The Lutine project is named after the gold ship Lutine, which went down, heavily laden, off Terschelling in 1779. According to Herman Broers, Managing Director of the Dutch Pilotage Service Organisation (NLBV), the organisation itself has struck gold with the Lutine project: “We can do very useful things with the data, even indirectly.”

Working at the Dutch Pilots Organisation

Interest in training at nautical schools is continuing to decline. In addition, people in maritime shipping are quitting earlier. On average, graduates stay at sea for seven years, after which they shift to onshore work. This means we have to recruit new pilots urgently, especially now that pilots in a number of regions are close to retirement. 

When it comes to new pilots and employees, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation benefits from high visibility and a strong public presence. In 2023, we were out there letting people know what the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation is all about, during the World Port Days and at the fleet show for Kings Day in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region, during the North Sea Port and Rescue Zeeland Port Days in the River Scheldt region, and at the nautical breakfasts and lunches and the Maritime Rijsttafel and Sea Port Days Ijmuiden (in the Amsterdam-IJmond region).

Keeping the Dutch Pilots Organisation in the public eye

The Dutch Pilots’ Organisation enhanced its visibility in secondary schools, colleges and universities in 2023. We gave guest lectures and, together with educational institutions, developed new courses for a career at the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation. 


For the first time since 1988, the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation had to cope with a fatal accident in which one of our helmsmen lost his life. There was great shock at this tragedy inside and outside the organisation. Many of our staff and registered pilots went through a period of mourning together, and shared their grief and concerns at a special gathering.

The investigations into the accident by the Public Prosecution Service and the Safety Board are ongoing. The internal investigation has been completed. Despite the tragedy, the conclusion is that pilotage operations are very safe. 

In early July, the ‘Lacerta’ tender sustained significant damage while picking up a pilot in severe weather. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

In the North Sea in late November, the ‘Perseus’ suffered a total blackout and floated adrift for several hours. The coastguard, the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution, and Multraship went to the rescue and brought the ship and its crew safely to shore. 

Occupational pension scheme for registered pilots

NLc, an occupational pension association, provides the pension scheme for active and inactive pilots. The administration of the pension scheme has been entrusted to the Professional Pension Fund Foundation for Registered Pilots (Stichting Beroepspensioenfonds Registerloodsen, BPL). As part of the new Future Pensions Act (Wet toekomst pensioenen), NLc drafted a transition plan, which was adopted almost unanimously by the occupational pension association. BPL was one of the first funds to review the new pension plan for feasibility, after which it passed it on to the Dutch Central Bank.

Managing tax and financial risks

In 2023, the organisations that make up the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation made a number of new agreements with the Tax and Customs Administration in a horizontal monitoring covenant. At its heart are transparency and mutual trust. The Tax and Customs Administration tailors its supervisory role to the quality of our internal organisation and to how we control risks. 

The Dutch Pilots’ Organisation has replaced its derivatives policy with a more comprehensive treasury charter. This charter sets out clear guidelines for directing and controlling financial assets, cash flows, positions and risks, and for the associated accountability.

It also meets the requirements of the Normative Framework for Financial Management and Supervision (Normenkader Financieel beheer en toezicht).

In 2023, we replaced our fraud risk analysis with an integrity risk analysis. The involved an expansion of scope to take in privacy and cyber risks. 

Key figures table



Total number of acts of pilotage



Of which: Dutch Scheldt



Of which: Flemish Scheldt



Of which: North region



Of which: Amsterdam-IJmond region



Of which: Rotterdam-Rijnmond region



Of which: Scheldt region



Total revenue (x €1,000)



Result (x €1,000)



Average number of registered pilots (in FTEs)

North region



Amsterdam-IJmond region



Rotterdam-Rijnmond region



Scheldt region






Average number of employees (in FTEs)

With an employment contract



Flex pool






Investments (x €1,000)



Capital base (x €1,000)



Current ratio



Solvency ratio



About the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation

The Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation is an independent organisation that works in the public interest. Our main charge is the pilotage of seagoing vessels to and from all Dutch seaports and the Flemish ports on the Scheldt river. In this way we contribute to the safety of ships and crew, the economic success of ports, and the protection of public security interests associated with maritime sea transport. The charge of providing pilotage services is exclusively reserved for registered pilots. ACM monitors the price development of our services and annually sets the tariffs for ships calling at Dutch ports.

Mission, vision and strategy

In 2019, one single mission, vision and strategy was formulated for the Dutch Maritime Pilots' Organisation, an organisation that encompasses several entities, each with their own separate tasks, but which together provide the pilotage service in the Netherlands and the Flemish ports on the Scheldt.


With our mission statement we declare what we stand for as Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation

‘Dutch Pilots Organisation is an independent, reliable, high-quality partner in the logistics chain for the safe and efficient pilotage of seagoing vessels from, to and through the Dutch seaports and Flemish ports on the Scheldt.’

Professionals at work

The foundation of the pilotage service is the registered pilots’ independent practice of their profession combined with the position of the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation as a semi-public organisation. Together, these aspects guarantee a good balance between public and private interests and position the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation as a high-quality partner in the maritime logistics chain.


The Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation carries out the public and private tasks and related activities that have been assigned to the pilots, without losing sight of opportunities that can make the organisation and its stakeholders stronger. The vision is based on three pillars:

  • A future-proof, leading pilotage service

  • A pilotage service that strengthens the logistics chain

  • A valued discussion partner and advisor


We use our strategy as stated below to put our vision into action. In the annual report we account for our services, operations and result on the basis of the three pillars mentioned in our vision:

Role of the pilot

The pilot is a highly trained professional who advises a shipmaster on how to safely navigate the vessel in and out of the port and, with his/her permission, acts as a participant in the marine traffic. The pilot is an expert who assists the team on the bridge with his/her knowledge, using modern technological tools as well. The pilot contributes to ensuring safe, efficient service in the maritime transport chain. The pilot bears in mind public interests, and private interests as well. The pilot plays a role in several domains, providing advice, both requested and on his/her own initiative, in various consultative bodies on a wide range of maritime-related matters, all with the same objective of promoting safe and efficient shipping traffic. Within the Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) structure, pilots are an integral part of the safe handling of shipping traffic.

Core values

Committed, reliable and expert are the core values for the pilots and employees of Nederlands Loodswezen. These three values form our moral compass and the core of our organisation.


Our pilots and staff consider it a privilege to be part of Nederlands Loodswezen, their own organisation that fulfils such an important social and legal charge. As such, they are all committed to and involved in the enterprise. Their commitment then naturally also extends to the maritime world in general, which is reflected in the efficient services we as an organisation provide. We take our responsibility seriously and put the collective interest above each individual’s personal interest. Only through collective involvement can we grow as an organisation and continue to carry out our social and legal charge with passion.


The shipping industry is counting on us; it needs us. We carry out our work in all weathers, punctually, and using the most modern means and technologies. We are always there on demand. All of this makes us a reliable and predictable partner for our stakeholders, from port authorities to policymakers and from peer service providers to people who live and work in and around the ports.


With our expertise we offer certainty and live up to the trust placed in us. We constantly look at ourselves with a critical eye; after all, our expertise is not a given, but something we want to continue to develop in ourselves. We continuously improve our knowledge and skills through training, knowledge development and innovation. We share our knowledge, skills and experience with others.


Government agencies and regulatory authorities are placing increasingly stringent demands on the governance and transparency of semi-public organisations like the regional and national pilotage corporations. We applaud this social trend. After all, these entities perform an important public service, and it is our responsibility to explain how we carry out our charge.


Up until 1 September 1988, the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation was a State pilot authority. On 1 September 1988 the organisation was privatised and mandated with its main charge of handling the pilotage of seagoing vessels to and from the Dutch seaports and the Flemish ports on the Scheldt river. This charge is exclusively reserved for registered pilots. The way in which the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation is organised and financed is stipulated by law. The continuity and quality of the pilotage services are therefore embedded in legislation and regulations. ACM monitors the price development of our services and annually sets the tariffs for ships calling at Dutch ports.


The Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation is the name under which a number of entities, each with their own tasks and responsibilities, jointly provide efficient pilotage services in the Dutch seaports and the Flemish ports on the Scheldt. The Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation consists of a professional organisation (for the pilots) and a company organisation (for service and support).


The professional arm of the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation comprises the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Corporation and four regional corporations: Regional Maritime Pilots’ Corporation for North, Amsterdam-IJmond, Rotterdam-Rijnmond, and River Scheldt. In addition, there is a foundation that provides training for pilots and promotes the expertise and quality of the profession in general (STODEL). Together, these organisations fulfil the mandate set by law with regard to the quality of the professional practice, the professional competence of the pilot, the powers, service provision, and the training of pilots.


The company organisation comprises the Dutch Pilotage Services, Loodswezen Materieel B.V., three silent partnerships (Amsterdam-IJmond Maritime Pilots Association, Rotterdam-Rijnmond/North Maritime Pilots Association and River Scheldt Maritime Pilots Association) and the Maritime Pilots' Institute Netherlands B.V.. The Dutch Pilotage Service Organisation provide services in the area of fleet management, maintenance, logistics, planning and administration in the boarding of pilots and pilotage of seagoing vessels and is charged with the collection of pilotage dues. Loodswezen Materieel B.V. is the legal owner of the fleet. The maritime pilot associations are the associations representing the registered pilots. The registered pilots are responsible for piloting seagoing vessels. Activities that are not directly aimed at the boarding of pilots and pilotage of vessels are conducted through the Maritime Pilots’ Institute Netherlands B.V.. This knowledge centre concentrates on activities like offering nautical expertise to the maritime sector at home and abroad.

The figure below gives an idea of the organisation of the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation (not including the silent partnerships and STODEL).

Professional organisation & company organisation

Personal details

Composition of the General Assembly 

President of the Dutch Maritime Pilots Corporation : Mr. J.W. Bentinck. Appointed on 1 May 2023, reappointed on 1 May 2026.

President of North Regional Maritime Pilots Corporation: Mr. E. J. Kilian. Appointed on 1 August 2022, steps down on 1 August 2026

President of Amsterdam-IJmond Regional Maritime Pilots Corporation: Mr. R. de Jonge. Appointed on 1 January 2022; terms ends on 1 January 2026

President of Rotterdam-Rijnmond Regional Maritime Pilots Corporation: Mr. J.J. van Driel. Appointed on 1 January 2022; terms ends on 1 July 2027

President of River Scheldt Regional Maritime Pilots Corporation: Mr. G. B. P. Jaburg. Appointed on 1 May 2018, reappointed on 1 May 2022, steps down on 1 May 2026

Secretary: Ms. B.W. Silvis. Appointed on 1 February 2023.

NLBV Board of Directors and Management Team

Board of Directors

  • Managing Director (under the articles of association): Mr. H.B.W. Broers

Management Team

  • Financial Director: Mr. W. N. Dorst

  • HR Manager: Ms. N. van der Drift

  • Fleet Manager: Mr. O.A. Taselaar

  • Information Manager: Mr. N. J. Donselaar

  • Information Manager: S. van der Berg, with effect from 24 April 2023

  • Crewing Manager: Mr. S. van der Stap, with effect from 16 Oktober 2023

  • Manager Finance & Control (advisory member): Ms. E.A.E.M. de Bruijn

Supervisory Board

  • Mr. M.J.M. Borsboom, Chairman, steps down on 1 July 2026

  • Mr. R.E.A. De Meyer, Member, steps down on 1 July 2025

  • Ms. J.H.P.M. van der Wijst, Member, steps down on 1 July 2024