Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. The economy of Brazil has the potential to further develop its existing maritime cabotage services by promoting a modal shift from the road to the sea. The road represents the biggest share in the Brazilian transport matrix, but the larger waterborne participation represents lower logistics costs and greater environmental benefits. This paper investigates cabotage users' perception and priorities in integrating cabotage into their multimodal transport systems. It analyses the cabotage and transport choice body of literature, the outcome of which was applied to 326 potential domestic cabotage users through an email survey questionnaire made up of open and closed questions, which resulted in 30 answers suitable for analysis by univariate and multivariate statistical techniques. The 59 service attributes identified were grouped into 13 factors, which explained 89.6% of the modal choice. The conclusions show that cabotage users aim to enhance the integration of logistics between transport modes and to adopt modal shift strategies if better services could be provided, including a real-time information system, shorter transit times and freight offered on a door-to-door basis.