We look back on 2022 with mixed feelings. Disruptions and crises followed in rapid succession, and that demanded the utmost from our organisation. However, we are proud of the efforts we have made. Here at Dutch Pilotes Organisation have kept up a high level of service no matter what the circumstances.
Last year, we had to face many new challenges and respond to them on the spot. There was hardly any time to make sense of it all. And still we look back with pride and satisfaction. Pulling out all the stops produced positive results. In this extraordinary year, we even undertook more acts of pilotage than forecast. With all the changes in transport flows, the service provided by Dutch Pilotes Organisation remains an indispensable link in the logistics chain. That gives us confidence for the future.
The continuity and quality of our services are supported by a streamlined organisation. In 2022, we took steps to implement the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle in our business processes. This professionalisation also includes digitisation and data-driven work. By analysing data, we get an ever-better sense of which adjustments to make to improve processes. To make that possible, the ICT department set up a technical platform in 2022 that we will continue to develop in the coming years.
The fact that safe working, despite all precautions, is not a given, became clear when on March 30th, 2023 our helmsman Arnoud Vooijs lost his life in a tragic accident at sea. Our thoughts are first and foremost with his family and loved ones who are facing this loss. It is once again a reminder that our daily operations at sea take place in a dangerous environment and that we must remain vigilant and committed to safety at all times.
We must meet ever-increasing demands, especially in terms of sustainability. For now, it is not possible to make our particular operations—getting pilots on board seagoing vessels quickly and efficiently—completely carbon-neutral. However, by operating efficiently, we are reducing emissions from ocean-going vessels that would otherwise have much longer waiting times. We therefore advocate looking farther down the chain than just our own operations when assessing our contribution to sustainability.
Agenda for the future
In 2023, Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation in its current form will be 35 years old. Our organisation is rock solid, but we need to keep investing in it constantly—and not only in ships and buildings, but above all in people. In the coming years, we therefore want to attract and train enough employees with the right competencies.
I have had the privilege of serving this wonderful organisation as its president for the last seven years. On 1 May 2023, I will step down and will be happy to go back to working full-time as a registered pilot in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region. Seeing how well we have done in the past year, I am confident that, with the organisation we now have, we can weather any storm.
President, Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Corporation
2022 at a glance
Covid-19 continued to have a negative impact on the global economy in 2022. We also faced war in Ukraine, tensions between the United States and China and, in the Netherlands, rising inflation and an energy crisis. All in all, it was basically an eventful year, with significant threats to the economy and to the work we do. Nevertheless, in these turbulent times, we maintained our service levels and even piloted more trips in 2022 than had been estimated.
Manoeuvring within constraints
In early 2022, we still had to manoeuvre within the restrictive Covid-19 measures in place. The procedures were familiar to us from the year before, so by then we were better prepared for this extraordinary situation. Because pilots and employees in the navigation service and in the office were also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, filling up the rotas and keeping services going was sometimes a matter of trial and error. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, it worked out well. In the summer of 2022, we formulated measures for the pilotage sector in case there was a further wave of Covid-19 in the autumn. Fortunately, we did not have to make use of these.
Uncertainty as a result of the war
The war in Ukraine had a huge impact. We soon had to deal with sanctions the government had introduced. Our colleagues were also in personal contact with members of Ukrainian and Russian crews. They were sometimes confronted with the difficult situations, including on the domestic front, that people find themselves in because of war.
Ports faced a decline in container traffic. On the other hand, more ships carrying coal and LNG started coming to the ports, because less gas was coming to the Netherlands through pipelines. Moreover, the rise in oil prices in 2022 led to more trade in oil and thus to more oil tankers in ports. All in all, we piloted more trips in 2022 than had been estimated, and revenue was also higher than had been forecast. That does not mean that all of our worries are over. The state of the world is still uncertain, and container traffic in particular is nowhere near the levels it was at three years ago.
IJmuiden sea lock
On 26 January 2022, King Willem-Alexander opened the new sea lock in IJmuiden—the largest in the world. Because a lot of salt water flows into the North Sea Canal with each lockage from the sea, the port authority has had to limit, for the time being, the number of lockages that can take place on a given day. By clustering ships in a smart way, it is possible to handle traffic with seven lockages a day. In the meantime, a solution is being worked on to channel the incoming saltwater back to the sea. The system is expected to be ready in the third quarter of 2024. Once it is, the lockage capacity of the lock complex can be used to the full again.
The Eemshaven-Kristiansand ferry
The regular ferry connection that Holland Norway Lines runs between Eemshaven and Kristiansand in Norway went into service on 1 April 2022. There are three sailings per week, and each is piloted both inbound and outbound.
More work thanks to the increase in the amount of LNG being transported
In 2022 there was an increase in the use of LNG, which can be converted to natural gas. The idea being to reduce dependency on gas supplies from Russia. Facilities are being built at several Dutch ports to accommodate the arrival of many more ships transporting LNG. The supply of LNG is creating extra work for Dutch Pilots Organisation. There is already a large LNG terminal on the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam, and the possibility of a second one is now under discussion. That could be a floating terminal, like the one that has been built in Eemshaven. Since September 2022, the Golar Igloo, a floating buffer unit capable of converting LNG to natural gas, has been operating there. The commissioning of this terminal has had a relatively large impact on our services, because two pilots must be on LNG carriers, on both inbound and outbound trips. Both Vlissingen and Terneuzen are candidates to become the third Dutch LNG seaport. A study of the possibilities was begun in late 2022. Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation is participating in various working and study groups to see if the third port can be built quickly.
Sustainability both ashore and on the water
To make our offices more sustainable, we are installing solar panels and LED lighting, we are greening the installations and improving the insulation rating of the premises. In addition, we use electric cars as much as possible when transporting the pilots by taxi. In Vlissingen we built an onshore facility so that our large pilot vessels can be connected to onshore power when they are moored at the quay. This results in a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
However, most emissions come from our fleet. We are working hard to reduce these emissions too, but the technical solutions to do so are not yet available. Together with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and the Damen shipyard, in 2022 we looked into which fuels are suitable for our fleet and what advantages and disadvantages are associated with various types of fuel. In 2022, we also put a lot of effort into preparing for the replacement of our Discovery-class tenders with M-class tenders. We will ensure that these new tenders can be converted later on, so that they can run on an alternative fuel. We have already had a significantly lighter tender built, the “Mira”, so as to reduce the use of fuel. The contract for the series that will follow the “Mira” was signed in 2022.
Our efforts are producing savings elsewhere
Our main contribution to reducing carbon emissions lies in optimising the logistics chain. If we can do our work smoothly and efficiently, the ocean-going vessels we pilot in particular will save far more carbon than we can ever save with the Dutch Pilotes Organisation fleet. To achieve more savings, we work closely with waterway operators and other nautical-service providers in the regions. This mainly involves linking up ICT support and refining our schedules. When seagoing vessels know exactly, and well ahead of time, when they will be served at the pilotage station, they can maintain the most economical speed. The savings on diesel—and hence on carbon emissions—from having an ocean-going vessel sail for one hour less are many times greater than what our entire fleet consumes in a week. Finally, by matching the estimated and the desired time of arrival at the berth, the pilot can set the most efficient pace so as to ensure optimum operation of the chain.
To make the chain more efficient, we are working ever more closely with other nautical-service providers. We provide pilots, the towing services provide tugs, the mooring companies provide people who moor the ships, and the agencies are responsible for their part in the preparations. There are certainly gains to be made by aligning these actions even more effectively. In doing so, each region has its own dynamics at play, as well as its own challenges.
The regions actively participate in any initiative that can improve cooperation. In the River Scheldt region, for instance, we participate in the Port-Neutral Platform, and in Rotterdam in the Just-in-Time project, an initiative of the Harbour Master division. This primarily involves reducing the waiting time of ocean-going vessels by planning farther ahead. In the River Scheldt region, we work closely with our Flemish colleagues, as ship handling has to comply with both the Dutch and Flemish systems. We even have a collective-deployment system with Flemish Pilot Organisation, and we use both fleets by mutual agreement. At Eemshaven, we have similar agreements with our German counterparts. On trips from Borkum to Westereems, we would like to use one tender instead of both a German and a Dutch tender.
Wet Actualisatie Markttoezicht Registerloodsen (Wamr)
This law has been in force since 1 January 2022 and has not brought any major changes to the day-to-day implementation of our services. However, we as an organisation must now describe and justify how we maintain the right balance between efficiency, productivity, and quality in our operations. To better understand this balance, we have developed a value creation model. In the first half of 2022, we also adjusted the cost allocation system as a result of the Wamr. This system is the basis for the calculation of our fees. In August, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) approved the adjusted cost allocation system, and we then calculated and submitted our 2023 fee proposal. In December 2022, the ACM set the fees for 2023.
Evaluation of Loodsplicht Nieuwe Stijl (LNS)
These new regulations concerning compulsory pilotage came into force on 1 January 2021. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the TwynstraGudde agency conducted a study in 2022 on the initial experiences with these regulations. The shortcomings of the current legislation are being resolved. The law includes opportunities to ‘experiment’ with alternative regulations. Dutch Pilots Organisation indicated in the evaluation that it would not want these options to be broadened. However, not enough time has passed since LNS came into effect for us to say anything else about its impact.
At the central level, we took our information security policy to the next level in 2022, and prepared it for ISO certification. Based on a complete penetration test, which was conducted by an external party, we examined how well we are currently protected. This helped to pinpoint areas of concern, but also to create greater awareness among employees. In addition, last year, all entities reviewed key strategic risks, and redefined the risk matrix. There have been no major shifts or adjustments since last year.
Merchant shipping is our breeding ground, but fewer and fewer people are entering nautical schools. In the longer term, that could become a problem. We therefore appointed a national intake coordinator in 2022 to recruit new pilots. They will raise awareness of our work and strengthen contacts with training institutes. In most regions, we already work with colleges and secondary vocational education and training institutes. We give guest lectures and offer students the opportunity to get acquainted with the work we do, either by sailing with us or by joining us for a trial internship. This is how we try to get students excited about a job as a registered pilot.
Looking ahead to 2023
In 2023, the Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation in its current form will be 35 years old. To be future-proof, we need ongoing investment, and not only in ships and buildings, but above all in people.
The New Terneuzen Lock
Last year a lot of hard work was done on the new lock complex in Terneuzen. It is a crucial link in the Seine-Scheldt connection, and will likely be put into operation in 2023. Dutch Pilotes Services actively participated and collaborated during the preparations. Once the New Terneuzen Lock is in operation, larger seagoing vessels will be able to pass through the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal as far as the port of Ghent. This will make this region more dynamic, and translate to a sustained increase in the activities of Nederlands Loodswezen.
Dutch Maritime Pilots’ Organisation as a strong brand
Attracting and training enough people with the right skills will be hugely important in the years to come. The tight labour market means we need more time to fill vacancies. In 2023, we will continue to build the Dutch Pilots Organisation brand, and we will give greater priority to engaging and retaining current pilots and other employees, and to recruiting new people.
From a business perspective, we are looking ahead to 2023 with some concern. Due to the situation in the world, it is not certain that we can meet our estimate of the number of trips next year. Moreover, it is still unclear what the impact of the new funding will be. On the other hand, last year’s results give reason for optimism. That, too, was a difficult year, full of changes and uncertainties. Cargo flows have changed, and the congestion at sea has not eased.
Our organisation is rock solid, but we need to keep investing in it constantly.
Sustainability is becoming a determining factor
The coming year will certainly also be dominated by environmental sustainability. Together with partners and market players, we will keep searching for the clean fuel of the future and other ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Sustainability is also a determining factor in the development of our new M-class tenders and the replacement of current SWATH ferries in the River Scheldt region.
Safe working culture
We want to be a good employer for all our colleagues. That means not only good working conditions, but also a safe working culture. Over the past year, there has been quite a commotion regarding safety at work. We too need to pay attention to this. We want to make sure everyone has a good time with us and feels fine, comfortable, and safe.
Using ICT and data to the best effect
We want to work in a data-driven way. That is why there are two key themes on the agenda in 2023: expanding the RADAR project and adding more topics to our platform for data-driven working.
We will also be preparing this year for the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). This European regulation requires all large companies to report on sustainability starting in the 2025 financial year, based on a wide range of indicators. To do that properly, we first need to collect the right data, record it consistently, and analyse it. There is still a lot of work to be done in that regard, and we will be doing that in the coming year.
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)
Average number of employees (in FTEs)
With an employment contract
Investments (x €1,000)
Capital base (x €1,000)
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.
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.
DUTCH MARITIME PILOTS’ ORGANISATION: A LITTLE BACKGROUND
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
Composition of the General Assembly
President of the Dutch Maritime Pilots Corporation : Mr J. B. Mulder. Appointed on 1 May 2016, reappointed on 1 May 2020, steps down on 1 May 2024
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 T. S. de Groot. Appointed on 1 July 2017, reappointed on 1 July 2021, steps down on 1 July 2023
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: Mr. R.J. Hagman until 1 February 2023. He was succeeded by Mrs. B.W. Silvis as of 1 February
NLBV Board of Directors and Management Team
Board of Directors
Managing Director (under the articles of association): Mr H.B.W. Broers with effect from 1 June 2022
Financial Director: Mr W. N. Dorst
HR Manager: Ms N. van der Drift
Fleet Manager: Mr T. de Vos
Fleet Manager: Mr O. A. Taselaar (acting manager), with effect from 1 December 2022
Information Manager: Mr N. J. Donselaar
Crewing Manager: Mr P. Bloothoofd, with effect from 1 February 2022
Mr. M.J.M. Borsboom, Chairman. Appointed on 6 June 2017, reappointed on 1 July 2020, steps down on 1 July 2023
Mr. R.E.A. De Meyer, Member. Appointed on 7 June 2016, reappointed on 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2022, steps down on 1 July 2025
Ms. J.H.P.M. van der Wijst, Member. Appointed on 1 January 2018, reappointed on 1 July 2021, steps down on 1 July 2024