Limited impact on APM Terminals from cyber attack

The cyber security breach on APM Terminals on June 27th that caused vessels to be delayed as part of a wider breach on Maersk Group was relatively short-lived from a global perspective, although vessel handling at some terminals was affected more than others, according to a report from maritime analysts SeaIntel. SeaIntel found that, from a vessel-handling perspective, the effect on the terminals was close to normal operational fluctuation. However APMT’s fully automated Maasvlakte II terminal in Rotterdam saw operations be severely impacted, with no new arrivals at APMT Massvlakte II from June 29th until it recommenced operations on July 6th.

SeaIntel said that the cyber breach impact was really felt most in the area of vessel reliability, with a significant decrease in schedule reliability of the vessels being experienced after calling at APMT berths. The average reliability of these vessels in the weeks before the incident was 74% and remained at 73% on June 29th, but then dropped off to 58.8% on June 30th, remaining around 55% for the following two days.

“This suggest that delays started happening as vessels got backlogged, and possibly also as a consequence of the Maersk vessels slowing down as Maersk Line vessels had a high ratio of the calls in APMT terminals,” said SeaIntel, noting that since then there had been a rebound in the average reliability of the vessels, to the same level of fluctuations that was observed before the incident.

SeaIntel said that it was “very likely” that not all containers had been handled correctly, and that shippers had faced difficulties in getting their containers released, but emphasized that this was purely speculation, as the data detail did not support this.

Maersk Line said it would waive demurrage and detention charges for cargo that it was unable to release because of the cyber attack. “We recognize the disturbance caused to your business, and will therefore waive demurrage and detention during the period when the system outage impacted our ability to release your cargo,” the carrier said in a customer update last week. In most places this covered the period June 27th to July 9th, but that there might be local variations based on when the containers were made available for import release.