North Queensland Bulk Ports pilotage service enhances customer focus and supply chain coordination activities across the ports of Mackay and Hay Point.

Safety is our first priority, and marine pilots are critical to ensuring safe and efficient port operations.

As a result of our commitment to continuous improvement, there have been several recent advancements in the pilotage procedures at Mackay and Hay Point.

NQBP continues to lead the way in pilot competence and safe pilotage and have developed a comprehensive competency based training and development program for pilotage in our Ports, in consultation with Maritime Safety Queensland. In mid-2016, we implemented a fatigue management system allowing instant reporting and tracking of pilot fatigue.

At Port of Mackay, as of 2016, vessels entering and leaving the port have been escorted by a pilot launch vessel in an effort to improve port security and eliminate any potential safety risks with regard to small vessel interaction in the Mackay harbour.

At Port of Hay Point, an innovative new pilotage and tugboat system have been implemented resulting in a time saving of about 38 minutes per changeover of ships. This initiative saves about 2,200 litres of tug bunkers per ship visit, and when the terminal is operating at or is near capacity, unlocks 700,000 tonnes of additional terminal capacity.

Pilotage areas

Maritime Safety Queensland regulates the provision of pilotage services in all Queensland ports. Pilotage areas are fully described on the MSQ website:

Procedures and fees

Port-specific pilotage procedures and fees for Hay Point and Mackay ports can be found on the Marine Safety Queensland website.

Pilotage procedures and passage plans

Effective communication between the pilot, master and bridge personnel is essential to efficient pilotage.

On boarding the ship, it is the duty of the pilot and master to ensure that all navigational procedures, local conditions, tides, currents, tugs, weather and ship characteristics are fully understood. Completion of a passage plan, by the master and pilot, is integral to the success of safe passage.

NQBP has developed an Electronic Passage Plan which pre-populates the ships data, environmental data and the towage and mooring requirements. Checklists and chartlets are generated from this and time stamps for the pilotage added as the pilotage task progresses. Reporting and invoicing are automatically generated at the end of the pilotage task.

Please find below links to approved passage plans for Hay Point and Mackay ports. Both ports are compulsory pilotage areas.

Please be advised that Pilotage Services require 24 hours’ advance notice of all movements requiring pilot attendance, including arrivals, departures and removals. These notifications should be made via the QSHIPS website.