Purpose – This research revolves around understanding the interfaces of ports in supply chains. The main aim of the research is to explore the role of ports within supply chains. Design/methodology/approach – Collecting information representative of the range of experiences, perspectives, perceptions and the behaviours of managers relevant to the research was obtained through purposeful sampling. The data for this paper is derived from a literature review of research papers and studies in addition to conducting seven face-to-face and one telephone interviews. Findings – The responses were analysed utilising themes and presenting summaries of transcripts in tabulated form to ease clarification. The findings reveal that integration between ports and organisations resembles other industries and therefore enhances the scope of ports within supply chains and the adaption of best practice techniques. Research limitations/implications – Although in depth case studies were conducted the limitations are within the breadth of interviews undertaken. Practical implications – The findings reveal that integration between UK ports and organisations resembles other industries and therefore enhances the scope of ports within supply chains and the adaption of best practice techniques. Originality/value – The originality value of the research is the exploration of the on-going role of ports within operational supply chains.