Pilots of Loodswezen Amsterdam-IJmond support visiting vessels to reach and leave the ports of IJmuiden, Beverwijk, Amsterdam and Zaandam safely and smoothly. Some 65 registered pilots accompany seagoing vessels and cruise ships through the locks at IJmuiden and through the busy shipping traffic on the North Sea Canal and the IJ river. They offer their service at any time of the day and in all weather conditions.
Usually the pilots are brought on board the visiting ship by tender. If harsh weather conditions prohibit this, the pilot is dropped off by helicopter. Sometimes smaller vessels are piloted via radar and VHF radio to nearby breakwaters, where a pilot can board. It was in the early fifteenth century that pilot activity in the Amsterdam waters got its first mentioning.