A relevant portion of the scientific literature focuses on the competition of short sea shipping (SSS) with land transport in presence of international programmes that provide financial support to SSS services (e.g. Motorway-of-the-Sea).The paper analyses the competition inside the maritime SSS market, comparing roll on–roll off (ro–ro) vs. lift on–lift off (lo–lo) services. The market has two structural pillars: (a) the analysed services connect Italy and a set of countries belonging to the south-eastern range of the Mediterranean basin, then without any financial support to the services; (b) there are no available land transport services for all the considered relationships.The two above pillars allow to quantify the reciprocal advantage of the two maritime services, by purifying the market from the bias generated by the presence of available land transport services and of any kind of financial support to SSS services.An aggregate discrete choice model, simulating the split between ro–ro and lo–lo services of freight flow exchanged by sea between countries facing the Mediterranean basin, has been specified and calibrated. The important element that emerges, in general terms, is the segmentation of the market in relation to the distances existing between each couple of countries.
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