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Redwise-DCP has seen a remarkable shift in the requirements for piloting deep draft VLCC’s Aframax and Suezmax tankers coming to Europe, confirming first-hand the effects of sanctions. Traditionally VLCC’s would be piloted to Rotterdam Europoort, but more and more of them have become “parcel tankers”, discharging part cargoes in Rotterdam, Antifer, Wilhelmshaven and Gdansk or occasionally even three of these four ports. A substantial amount of this crude oil is coming from the USA, which appears to have replaced to an extent the crude oil that came from Russia. Just as remarkably, once in a while taking backhaul cargo from Norway or the United Kingdom.

Deep Sea pilot demand has not only increased due to the shift in supply. More and more oil stakeholders have made it mandatory in their charter parties, whereas prudent owners have made it either compulsory or stimulate it mongst their Masters. By advising the bridge teams during the passages of areas with dense traffic and port approaches, the Deep Sea pilot assists with communication procedures and local knowledge of his admission area. It takes away part of the strain on the Masters and officers, helps with reducing working hours of Masters that can be better spent and enable them to comply with rest and working hour schedules. This doesn’t only apply in the tanker trade, but even more with Car Carriers hopping in- and out of ports and specific container lines. Whether coming from the USA, Middle East, Africa or AsiaPacific regions, largely absent are LNG carriers that rarely, if at all, make use of Certified Deep Sea Pilots. A substantial and growing part of LNG is being imported from Russia, quoted by Euronews based on a report from Global Witness NGO, replacing gas that used to come by pipelines, which stays pretty much under the radar.

Owners who want to hire Deep Sea Pilots, supported by P&I clubs, should be aware that Deep Sea Pilots undergo specific training and tests in line with IMO resolution A1080 and national laws. This is in contrast to those who employ marine advisors without adhering to the necessary regulations and obtaining the mandated certifications.