Commercial Shipping and Towing

Information about Commercial Shipping fees for navigating through the canal.
Autumnal tranquility on the Erie Canal is captured in this scene where a large red barge, numbered 82 and emblazoned with 'NYS Marine Highway,' rests peacefully under a historic green truss bridge. The surrounding foliage is just beginning to show its fall colors, reflecting off the calm water.
A serene day on the canal is depicted with workers aboard a vibrant blue and yellow maintenance barge, diligently tending to the waterway's upkeep. In the background, lush green trees line the banks, while a leisurely white cabin cruiser boat glides by, reflecting the perfect blend of work and play that characterizes the canal's environment.

The New York State Canal System is a 524-mile long, commercially viable waterway connecting the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, and Lake Champlain. The federally improved route between Waterford and Oswego provides a vertical clearance of at least 21 feet; the Champlain Canal has at least 17 feet; Cayuga-Seneca Canal, 16; and the western Erie Canal, 15.5. The controlling depth on the Erie Canal between Waterford and Oswego is currently 11 feet; the Champlain Canal is 9.5 feet; Cayuga-Seneca Canal, 8; and the western Erie Canal, 9. Efforts are underway to return the Canal System to its published depth of 14 feet from Waterford to Oswego and 12 feet elsewhere.

For more information please call (518) 449-6000 during normal business hours, or (518) 461-0942 after hours. Round-the-clock lock and lift bridge operation is available to commercial vessels whose captains give twenty-four hour advance notice of their intent to navigate the system outside of regular hours of operation.

Lock Information

The locks of the New York State Canal System have a usable length of 296 feet and a usable width of 44.45 feet. The Canal Corporation recommends a beam of no greater than 43.5 feet. Every lock on the New York State Canal System is equipped with a capstan for the purposes of double locking. Several Canal terminals remain available for commercial use. A list of these terminals is available by calling (518) 449-6000 .

A variety of Aids to Navigation mark the channels of the New York Canal System, with the vast majority of these aids being unlighted. Products still shipped on the Canal System include pre-fabricated rebar caissons, liquid calcium chloride, radar dome material, commercial paper dryers, aggregate, turbines, commercial boilers, transformers, and other over-sized cargo.

A symmetrical view of Lock Number 30 on a canal, featuring robust steel gates and a walkway framed with safety-yellow railings. On each side of the lock, small blue and yellow buildings marked with the number '30' stand sentinel. The still water in the lock reflects the twilight sky, with a lush green landscape embracing the engineering structure.

Barge Towing Companies Serving the NYS Canal System


Listings of commercial and municipal enterprises are a courtesy to our audiences and provided for information purposes only. Identification or reference to any particular enterprise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, favoring or recommendation by the Canal Corporation. Contact enterprises directly for their most accurate information.

Additional Marine Contractors Serving the NYS Canal System


Listings of commercial and municipal enterprises are a courtesy to our audiences and provided for information purposes only. Identification or reference to any particular enterprise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, favoring or recommendation by the Canal Corporation. Contact enterprises directly for their most accurate information.
Boats navigate through the tranquil waters of a lock on the Erie Canal, marking the vibrant navigation season. Surrounded by lush greenery and under the vast, cloud-streaked sky, the water reflects a serene path leading through the heart of a picturesque landscape, inviting onlookers to explore New York's storied waterways.
The image shows a boat cruising along a canal. The boat is passing through a lock, and a person is standing on the boat's deck. The surroundings consist of trees along the canal banks, and there is a wooden walkway beside the canal. The water is calm, reflecting the trees and the boat. This scene is at Lock 23.

Boating Hours

View information about navigation season and hours of operation for individual lock and lift bridges.

A leisurely vessel, Blue Chip, navigates through the vibrant yellow gates of Champlain Lock 4 on a clear day, showcasing the ingenuity of New York's canal system for recreational boating and the lock's role in water regulation.

Boating Heights and Canal Speed Limits

View a summary of bridge clearances and normal channel depths and a listing of current controlling depths by canal mileage.

An aerial view of the serene Erie Canal with a line of leisure boats navigating through the lock system on a clear day. The lush greenery of the surrounding park and residential area blends into the distant townscape, with rolling hills on the horizon under a vast, cloud-dotted sky.

Navigating the Canals

Get acquainted with the various factors you’ll need to consider while planning your journey and view helpful tutorials to ensure your personal safety and that of other canal visitors.