This paper discusses the reality of integrated supply chain in maritime transport in Italy, focusing the attention on the dry-port concept. The scientific literature is consistent in conceiving dry-ports as strategic entities to enhance sea-ports’ competitiveness. However, the real contribution of dry-ports to the improvement of sea-ports performance is still poorly examined. To concur in filling such a theoretical and empirical gap, the present study shows a brief literature review about the dry-port concept, which pays particular attention to the role of dry-ports in enhancing the effectiveness of the maritime supply chain. Drawing from the findings of this literature review, an exploratory analysis of Italian dry-ports is depicted. This study suggests that the importance of dry-ports in improving both the competitiveness and the attractiveness of Italian sea-ports is widely overlooked. From this standpoint, Port Authorities are incited to consider dry-ports as strategically relevant within their policies and strategies, thus revisiting their traditional managerial approach which mainly neglects the role of inland terminals.
Keywords: Dry-ports, supply chain management, SCM; integration, maritime logistics, inland terminals