A container ship arriving at a port


  • A pilot will board the container ship from a boat. The boat is called a pilot launch. The pilot will provide the ship’s captain with directions to navigate through the shipping channels to the correct location for the ship to dock.
  • The ship’s crew will communicate with the port authority who will provide a place to dock at a pier or wharf.
  • When the ship enters the port one or more tug boats may assist in docking the ship. The ship will be gently pulled and pushed so it lines up with the pier or wharf.
  • Linespeople on the wharf will be ready to attach the ship’s ropes onto the wharf. At least six ropes will hold the ship in place.