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The charity making life better by water

Cargo carrying

Our canals were originally built to transport goods around the country and in some places our waterways are still being used for this purpose.

Tug pulling barge with large freight on River Trent

Please note that cargo carrying is where you are paid by a third party to transport goods that you do not own from one place to another. Carrying goods that you own for sale (either wholesale or retail) is trading.

If you wish to carry goods on one of our commercial waterways you will operate under our Freight Regulations and a member of our enterprise team will be able to help you.

If you wish to carry goods on one of our cruising or remainder waterways we will likely authorise your activity via a Roving Trader Licence. If the work is likely to be significant or over a long period we may elect to use the Freight Regulations instead.

Laid up freight vessels should have an up to date survey and be adequately insured to cover their laid up status.

Operating proposal

Please provide as much information as possible for us to assess your proposal.

For the assessment of new Operating Proposals there is a non-refundable fee towards our administration and initial assessment costs. The fee is to be paid online to progress your application and will be applicable for all submissions received from 1 December 2023 onwards.

The fees for each operating proposal are:

  1. £90 (inclusive of vat) for Fixed Location Trading Boat, Static Letting, Self-Drive Holiday Hire, Self-Drive Day Hire, Skippered Hotel, Skippered Passenger, Roving Trader (fuel, events boats & roving café boats)
  2. £50 (inclusive of vat) for Roving Trader, Trade Plate, Maintenance Work Boat, ROW, Cadets
  3. No fee to be applied to applications for Emergency & Safety Boats and Exhibition Boats.
  4. No fee to be applied to existing business who wish to add additional craft (where new craft are to be added to an existing fleet or extension to existing moorings).

Upon receipt of your submitted proposal, you will receive email confirmation and reference number. We will then aim to give you an in principle decision within six weeks. Please note that you may need to obtain planning permission and negotiate agreements for using our property which could take much longer to finalise.

Do not commit financially to your proposed business before receiving our ‘in principle' approval.

Last Edited: 02 November 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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