Ship pilot dispatcher


Ship pilot dispatchers coordinate ships entering or leaving port. They write orders showing name of ship, berth, tugboat company, and time of arrival or departure, and notify the maritime pilot of assignment. They obtain receipts of pilotage from the pilot upon return from ship. Ship pilot dispatchers also record charges on receipt, using tariff book as guide, compile reports of activities, such as number of ships piloted and charges made, and keep records of ships entering port, showing owner, name of ship, displacement tonnage, agent, and country of registration.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to ship pilot dispatcher:

dispatcher of ship pilots
ship pilot controller
shipping pilot dispatcher
dispatcher, ship pilot
ship pilot coordinator

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a ship pilot dispatcher.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Ship pilot dispatcher is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Ship pilot dispatcher career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to ship pilot dispatcher.

water traffic coordinator
ship planner
vessel operations coordinator
container crane operator
port coordinator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of ship pilot dispatcher. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of ship pilot dispatcher with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

non-vessel operating common carrier
aviation data communications manager
maritime pilot
international forwarding operations coordinator
ship duty engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of ship pilot dispatcher.

  • International tariffs: Know international tariffs, taxes, or duties that must be paid on a particular class of import or export materials.
  • Dock operations: Know operations that take place in docks, primarily those concerned with the incoming and outgoing of cargo shipments. Know logistics activities relating to cranes, containers, and shipments.
  • Maritime transportation technology: Understand maritime transportation technology and stay up-to-date with the latest findings in the field. Apply this knowledge in operations and decision-making while on-board.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of ship pilot dispatcher.

  • Operate radio equipment: Set up and operate radio devices and accessories, such as broadcast consoles, amplifiers, and microphones. Understand the basics of radio operator language and, when necessary, provide instruction in handling radio equipment correctly.
  • Guide ships into docks: Safely guide a ship into a dock and anchor it.
  • Write dock records: Write and manage dock records in which all information about ships entering and leaving docks is registered. Ensure the collection and reliability of the information displayed in records.
  • Monitor the validity of ship certificates: Control and monitor validity of the ship’s certificate and other official documents to be carried on board. Knowledge and ability to ensure the validity of certificates and other documents which must be carried on board.
  • Liaise with port users: Communicate and cooperate with port users such as shipping agents, freight customers and port managers.
  • Measure ship tonnage: Measure ships to identify cargo hold and storage capacities.
  • Review ship documentation: Review ship documentation related to cargo shipping permits, public health information, crew members and activities, and other compliance regulation.
  • Provide accurate information on water routes: Provide skippers or captains with accurate and timely information on all vessel movements and relevant river or sea information accordingly.
  • Liaise between the client and various transportation services: Serve as an intermediary between the customer and various transportation services.
  • Prepare documentation for international shipping: Understand how to prepare and process official documents for international shipping.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ship pilot dispatcher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • International Maritime Organisation conventions: Know International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions in order to maximise the efficiency and safety of international shipping.
  • Maritime telecommunications: Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting equipment and overall operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Match vessels to shipping routes: Understand how particular types of ships are transport different kinds of cargo and operate on different shipping routes. Know the current maritime routes to plan and schedule the arrival and departure of ships from ports.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ship pilot dispatcher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

ISCO group and title

4323 – Transport clerks

  1. Ship pilot dispatcher – ESCO
Last updated on December 7, 2022

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