The Amsterdam canals become more and more crowded. The water is intensively used to live (2,500 houseboats), for recreation (15,000 boats) and for work (commercial shipping transports annually 2 million tons of goods on the Amsterdam waterways). There is also the commercial passenger transport by shipping companies who jointly have operating licenses for about 333 vessels.

The current market is characterized by a limitation in the number of operating licenses (volume policy), a compulsory mooring license and too few public entry and exit locations. As a result of the unlimited duration of the operating licenses, market forces do not work sufficiently. Because there is too little enforcement, a gray area has emerged between the regulated part (commercial passenger traffic) and the free part (recreational boating). The illegal passenger transport is extensive.