Cyber-attack: Some Maersk terminals working ships, but not trucks

By John Bendel, Land Line editor-at-large | Thursday, June 29, 2017

Some Maersk container facilities remained closed to truck traffic for a third consecutive day on Thursday following a cyber-attack on Tuesday, June 27. Among the APM locations affected by the attack are Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, Pier 400 in Los Angeles, and Miami, Fla. APM is short for A.P. Moller, the terminal operating division of A.P. Moller-Maersk headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Maersk is the world’s largest container shipping line. 

According to Tom Adamski, a principal with First Coast Logistics Services in New Jersey, the APM terminal at Port Elizabeth will likely remain closed to truck traffic Friday, though no official word was available. 

“They may not reopen until next week,” he said.

Adamski explained that APM in Port Elizabeth was closed to truck traffic, not ships. Cranes were operating and containers were being loaded and unloaded. However, the work was slow because records of all the moves had to be recorded on paper. No such workaround was available to move containers in and out of the terminal by truck as of Thursday.

“This (cyber-attack) turned out to be a lot worse than they thought on Tuesday,” Adamski said.

Truck traffic at Port Newark and Port Elizabeth has not declined significantly despite their APM shutdown, Adamski said. There has been enough traffic for many carriers to work the other shipping lines until their yards are clear. Adamski is also a member of the New Jersey Intermodal Carrier Conference of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association. 

Maersk says it has partially restored its ability to book containers, but questions about individual terminals must be directed to the terminals themselves. Besides Port Elizabeth, Los Angeles, and Miami, APM operates U.S. terminals in Mobile, Ala., and Tacoma, Wash.

The Port of Los Angeles is the largest container port in the U.S., followed by the nearby port of Long Beach. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which comprises Port Newark and Port Elizabeth, is the third largest.

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