© 2000, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.This study considers the maritime transport industry as a part of the international marketing system and analyses the factors affecting the competitive advantage of exporters as customers of the industry. Turkey is a leading exporter of dried fruits -the locus of this study- and maritime transport is the main transport mode employed. Exporters with annual export figures higher than 150,000 dollars have been approached and a response rate of 87.14% was achieved. Based on company profiles on business and transport functions, factor analysis -including reliability analysis- has been undertaken. The study presents the 13 factors that help strengthen the competitive position of exporters. Among these factors, the ones related to maritime transport have received highest loadings and highest frequencies. With the support of reliability analysis it has been shown that exporters consider transport in general, and maritime transport in particular, as factors important in creating and sustaining competitive advantage.