IGR J18483-0311 is a high-mass X-ray binary recently discovered by INTEGRAL. Its periodic fast X-ray transient activity and its position in the Corbet diagram - although uncertain - led to the conclusion that the source was probably a Be/X-ray binary (BeXB), even if a supergiant fast X-ray transient (SFXT) nature could not be excluded. We aimed at identifying the companion star of IGR J18483-0311 and discriminate between a BeXB and a SFXT nature for this source. Optical and near-infrared photometry, as well as near-infrared spectroscopy of the companion star were performed to identify its spectral type. We also assembled and fitted its broad-band spectral energy distribution to derive its physical parameters. We show that the companion star of IGR J18483-0311 is an early-B supergiant, probably a B0.5a, and that its distance is about 3-4kpc. The early-B supergiant nature of its companion star, as well as its fast X-ray transient activity indicate that IGR J18483-0311 has an SFXT nature. Nevertheless, the long duration and the periodicity of its outbursts, as well as its high level of quiescence, are consistent with IGR J18483-0311 being an intermediate SFXT, in-between classical supergiant X-ray binaries (SGXBs) characterised by small and circular orbits, and classical SFXTs with large and eccentric orbits.