Maersk operational, but still facing a ‘big task’


Maersk confirmed last night that its vessels remain fully operational and its ability to deliver cargo in transit was now “close to normal” following the 27 June cyber attack on the company. But the world’s largest container line acknowledged that fully restoring its infrastructure remained “a big task” and although it was accepting new bookings, these would take longer than normal to confirm and may not be processed until next week, when it expects its IT systems will be fully restored.

Thanking customers for their patience and support since the 27 June cyber attack on the company, the Danish group said yesterday evening: “We are pleased to share that our operations are running so the handling of your cargo in transit is now close to normal. We are finally making good progress towards restoring our infrastructure, to be able to serve you in full; however we have to acknowledge that this is a big task at hand.”

Maersk said all bookings made before the incident on 27 of June at 08.00 “are secured and the data is saved in our systems. For those bookings that were confirmed, equipment will be released as normal. You do not need to create replacement or duplicate bookings.”

This includes bookings made via EDI, the company stressed. It said new bookings can still be sent through EDI, but it will take longer than normal to confirm. “EDI bookings you made since Tuesday are stored safely and all will be batch confirmed early next week,” Maersk told customers in an update last night.

As Lloyd’s Loading List reported yesterday, since late on 28 June, bookings have also been possible via booking platform INTTRA.

Maersk announced yesterday that it had also opened a simplified online booking form. It stressed that this link has been “authenticated and cleared by security and the tool is isolated from our network to avoid any risk to you”, adding: “These bookings will be processed once our systems are restored.”

The company stressed last night that “all channels that have been open are confirmed safe for you to use”. That included new interim online booking forms for Maersk Line, Safmarine, MCC, and SeaLand, it confirmed via Twitter.

Maersk said almost all its ports were “now operational and running close to normal”, after it yesterday re-established business in: Algeciras; Tangier; Callao; Lima; Mumbai; Itajai; and Buenos Aires. However, it said it was “still working on expanding our services” in the following ports:

Pier 400 Los Angeles. “We are pleased to be able to deliver imports again from the terminal. We are also able to receive and deliver empties. Our priority is now to open up to receive exports. In the meantime, we have diverted TP2 MSC Laurence to TTI to ensure easiest cargo delivery. We hope to share good news and a full plan on this soon.”

Port Elizabeth New Jersey. “Also delivering imports, and both receiving and delivering empties. Focus is again on being able to receive and gate in exports.”

Maasvlakte II Rotterdam. “We are still working on a solution to reopen Maasvlakte II. Our top priority remains your cargo and we are therefore diverting services other terminals in and around Rotterdam, to best serve you. These facilities have already restored systems and are able to gate cargo in and out. Despite these difficulties, in Rotterdam and as everywhere, we will do whatever it takes to move your cargo to its final destination as fast as possible.”

The company told customers: “We remain committed to do whatever we can to protect and deliver your cargo. We are seeing great progress in the restoration of our infrastructure, to better serve you.

“Around the world we seek to serve our customers best possible and therefore we are building contingencies where this is required, as well as focus on continuously getting back to normal business.”

As Lloyd’s Loading List reported yesterday, Maersk Line has said that all immediate vessel operations will continue as planned, making the majority of planned port calls.  It said access to most ports was not impacted, although some APM Terminals were affected.

“Cargo in transit will be offloaded as planned,” the company said. “Import cargo will be released to credit customers.”

The company has stressed that the issue “remains contained” as it “continues to work towards a technical recovery”. It said a number of its IT systems had been deliberately shut down.

As reported in Lloyd’s Loading List and widely elsewhere, Maersk was hit this week by a major cyber attack “as part of a global cyber attack named Petya on the 27 June” that has affected a number of major companies around the world, with Maersk’s IT systems shut down across multiple sites and business units.

Its subsidiaries Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Services, Maersk Tankers, Maersk Training, Svitzer and MCI are not operationally affected, although the group said precautionary measures have been taken to ensure continued operations.

Lloyd’s Loading List reported yesterday that Maersk group’s freight forwarding and logistics subsidiary Damco was continuing to experience problems with some of its systems. The group said: “Damco has limited access to certain systems. The business continuity plan has been deployed with a key focus on protecting customers cargo flows.”