Maersk says shipments back to normal this week

Denmark-based shipping and logistics company AP Moller-Maersk said late last week that container shipments at Maersk Line were likely to be back to normal early this week, It had restored its major IT systems, but was still handling a backlog of orders and was working to bring operations at its ports back to normal.

“Where we are pleased with the progress we have made to be able to serve customers well on exports, we are very aware that the import experience has not yet been fully brought up to the level it should be,” Maersk said, adding that “we have a tight and ambitious plan that would lead us to be fully up to as close to normal business on serving imports by early [this] week”. However, customers’ ability to track shipments handled by Maersk had not yet been restored.

On Friday Maersk said that it was too early to predict the financial impact on its second- and third-quarter results from the attack, which caused computer outages across the world. Robbert van Trooijen, Asia Pacific CEO of AP Moeller-Maersk’s container shipping arm, said in a conference call with reporters that the company would be addressing issues around liability and settlement with individual customers, but that the first priority was to get the company operating again at 100%.

“Our first priority has not been to look at the financial impact,” he said. The attack did not impact Maersk’s physical loading of goods, but disrupted datareliant processes such as creating arrival notices and obtaining customs clearance – leading to congestion at several ports. Van Trooijen said all ports Maersk worked with were now back on stream and releasing cargo. “Over the last 48 hours we are basically ensuring that just about every port in the world is able to receive and release cargo again”, he said, adding that it was not clear how many bookings had been cancelled due to the attack at the end of June.

Van Trooijen said the company did not believe Maersk was deliberately targeted, but noted that “there was nothing in terms of patches that we missed, there was no cyber security measures that we didn’t take, so we were already in quite a strong position,” he said.