COMPULSORY PILOTAGE EXISTS IN ALL PORTS OVER THE WORLD IN ORDER TO SECURE SAFE NAVIGATION.
FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS OF WRITTEN HISTORY, FROM EGYPTIANS TO GREEKS TO BIBLICAL TIMES, RIVER PILOTING HAS BEEN AN ELEMENTAL LINE OF WORK.
During Greek and Roman times incoming ships often employed local fisherman to bring their trading vessels into port safely. In Louisiana, the ancient career quickly found a home along the Mississippi.
Early mariners’ zealous natures caused many to die in their pursuit as they rowed out to incoming vessels competing for business.
These unsafe practices led to regulation of state pilots, a norm that remains in every world port today. There is little doubt that if free market pilotage was again permitted, compromises for safety would be made to do the job. For this reason, laws require shipowners to hire pilots with local knowledge to mitigate the high risks of the river and dangerous cargo. The law insulates local pilots from the economic pressures of the voyage in order to ensure that decisions are made for safe navigation.
There is a tendency in shipping management to ignore the regulatory aspects of pilotage and view it as just another service for hire that should be purchased and controlled or managed like all other services.
71 CENTS PER PASSENGER
A 8000 TEU ship pays about $3.00 per container for pilot services and cruise companies pay less than a dollar, or seventy-one cents per passenger for the eight hour voyage to dock in New Orleans.
Crescent Pilots safely navigated cruise ships despite the fog saving industry $105 million in delay costs by avoiding 874 hours of delays for 268,246 passengers. A ship’s needs are paramount and pilots act accordingly.
Compulsory pilotage mitigates risk between pilots, ship owners, masters, and regulatory authorities. The complex and often not easily understood system protects the ship from the hazards of the port while also protecting the port from the hazards of the ship.
PILOTAGE FEE COMMISSION
The Pilotage Fee Commission consists of four pilot representatives, one from each of the pilot associations, four industry representatives, and three independent at large members. The commission is charged with setting fair and reasonable fees for pilots. For more information, please visit the Louisiana Pilotage Fee Commission's website at www.lapfc.com.
PILOT FEES ARE LESS THAN 1% (.007) OF SHIP'S VOYAGE
PILOT SERVICES ARE PAID FOR BY THE FOREIGN ENTITIES THAT USE PILOT SERVICES.
PILOTS ARE INDEPENDENT
Pilots receive no local or state dollars for their services and are hired by foreign shipowners to secure safe local passage for their ship, cargo, and crew. Compulsory Pilotage exists to protect the State from decisions to override safety measures for the benefit of economics.
A shipowner’s need for profit will always trump safety whereas Pilots by law are insulated from the economic pressures of the ship. If a state pilot deems it is unsafe to move cargo, the ship doesn’t move.