Before the 17th century, there was very little in the way of a regulated pilot service around the Maasmond. Nevertheless, there were certain indications of its importance to the government at that time. In old decrees from the 15th century, there is evidence that pilots did exist around the Maasmond, meaning that the profession of marine pilot is in fact, an old one, albeit one that was very different to today’s way of piloting. Pilots in the 18th century, for example, were brought to the ships by fishermen.
These days, we use tenders and even a helicopter, amongst other means.
The profession of pilot used to be quite ‘simple’. The port of Rotterdam was not nearly as large and busy as it is today.
Over the years, a huge change has taken place with regards to infrastructure and technology. Innovations in the ports and within Loodswezen, have made Rotterdam a modern port, that is easily and efficiently accessible to shipping. Rotterdam is one of the most important ports in Europe and the world. There are no locks, the channel is deep and there are excellent hinterland connections.
More information about the history: From state pilot to members of private pilot associations, backgrounds 1859-2000.pdf