About us

Nederlands Loodswezen is the organisation which contributes to the safe and efficient handling of shipping traffic. Our main task is to guide more than 90,000 sea-going vessels a year which are subject to compulsory pilotage into and out of the Dutch and Flemish seaports. To this extent, we are on call 24 hours a day in all weather conditions. Our expertise dates back four hundred years. Four centuries of Dutch shipping history which abound with historical moments and traditions.


Nederlands Loodswezen became an independent organisation in 1988. Since the privatisation, we have been operating through two divisions: Nederlandse Loodsencorporatie or NLc (Dutch Maritime Pilot's Association) and Nederlands Loodswezen BV or NLBV (Dutch Pilotage Service). The Pilotage Act states that the registered pilot has the task to provide pilotage services. In practice, this means we see to it that well-trained and professional registered pilots board sea-going vessels and offer the captain nautical advice with the aim of safely guiding ships into and out of ports. NLBV supports the registered pilot in this. Over the last twenty years, we have grown into an organisation which anticipates market developments and listens to and advises stakeholders in the Dutch and Flemish seaports.


Some 460 registered pilots take care of the pilotage of sea-going vessels. They form the link between the ship and the various organisations in the port, such as VTS operators (radar guidance), tug service providers and boatmen. Registered pilots play an important role in the communication with and between these service providers. With their current knowledge of tides, currents, procedures, traffic flows, ports and berths, they serve as advisors to the captain. 24/7, all registered pilots significantly contribute to the success of ports!


The task performed by Loodswezen in the Dutch and Flemish seaports is essential, especially given the prominent role of the Netherlands in the world of international cargo transport and shipping. As independent professionals, the registered pilots are the only party in the Netherlands qualified to pilot sea-going vessels. Nederlands Loodswezen is monitored by the ACM (Authority for Consumers & Markets).


All Dutch registered pilots are members of the NLc and are listed in the pilot registry. The NLc focuses on the schooling of future pilots, provides training and education so that the knowledge of pilots is always up-to-date and sees to it that our pilotage services are rendered in a professional manner. The NLc issues decrees and advises the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment on matters pertaining to the Pilotage Act to ensure that ports can be accessed smoothly and safely.

More information about the General meeting


NLBV is an organisation which focuses specifically on supporting registered pilots in the execution of their professional duties. The services consist of administrative tasks and transport pilots to and from sea-going ships. With some 400 dedicated employees, we offer these services round the clock. NLBV does this from the office in Hook of Holland and four regions.

More information about the Board of directors and management 


As no two ports are the same, we work from four regions: North, Amsterdam-IJmondRotterdam-Rijnmond and Scheldemonden. Registered pilots mainly operate from one single region; as a result, they thoroughly know the port areas they work in. With this, we ensure that our customers always receive an optimum service and the quality which they should expect from us.