This paper introduces the concept of maritime logistics value as one of the most significant strategic goals that maritime operators want to achieve. The value is reflected in operational efficiency (e.g. reducing lead time and business costs) and service effectiveness (e.g. flexibility, responsiveness and reliability in the service). Drawing from key theories and practices in strategic management such as knowledge-based perspective and social network embeddedness perspective, this paper adopts a knowledge management strategy as a way to create and sustain the maritime logistics value. A conceptual framework is established for the exploration of the way to acquire knowledge and the effectiveness of the acquired knowledge in maximising the maritime logistics value. Following the parameters of this framework, the positive relationship between social networks, knowledge acquisition and maritime logistics value is identified, and its relevant theoretical and practical implications are discussed. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.