What makes this project innovative is the integrated approach on inland navigation and territorial development. This integrated approach is necessary to allow inland ports to grow in scale & size in order to improve connectivity. CCP21 involves the cities, the citizens, customers, carriers and the inland ports. This integrated process also makes CCP21 innovative.

The project looks for new solutions for smart sustainable growth (facilitating the growth of the economy without the proportional pressure on the environment) of inland ports, f.e. by combining people and freight, a positive citizen acceptability strategy, and city distribution trough inland ports. CCP21 implements new logistic solutions like self-unloading vessels for new applications in inland ports, enlarging both the environmental and economic performance of the inland ports.

In CCP21 innovative logistics concepts such as short distance container transport pallet transport, city distribution and regional container shuttles are being further developed and implemented. In CCP21 successful implementation of these innovative concepts is the central challenge, this asks for innovative applications such as tracking&tracing systems, innovative business models for port cooperation and innovative tools to visualise the economic and environmental benefits of inland ports. Next to this, also innovative solutions are chosen in order to make port development truly sustainable, such as CO2 neutral city distribution, innovative solutions for the toplayer of platforms, to reduce environmental impact and noise.

Cooperation between ports, also involving seaport, allowing them to enlarge their operating scale, is an innovative strategy for inland ports to create economies of scope and thus offering a more comprehensive package of services to IWT (and seaport) clients. In CCP21 several ways (business concepts) aimed at this cooperation are being explored.