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Impact of cyber breach on APM Terminals less than feared, says analysis

 

In the past two weeks, the maritime industry has been focused on the issue of cyber security, following the breach at Maersk. While a lot of focus was on Maersk Line, the terminal operating arm of the Maersk Group, APM Terminals, was also affected by the incident. In issue 320 of the SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight, was analysed the impact of the cyber security breach on the vessel handing operations at APM Terminals. The analysis shows that there was a clear impact in the immediate short-term, but it was not far outside the normal operational fluctuations. For the most part, APM Terminals continued vessel handling operations as normal, albeit at a slower pace for a short number of days.

 

The analysis focused only on vessel handling operations, and did not consider any landside terminal operations, e.g. handling of containers once they are offloaded and stacked, gate procedures, intermodal operations, truck turn times, landside congestion, etc. This is likely where APMT and its customers may have felt the brunt of the impact of this cyber security breach, said a release on the analysis.

 

In the days following the news of the Maersk cyber security breach, there was widespread speculation on what the impact would be on the operations of APM Terminals, ranging from deserted terminals and vessels not being handled, to the more moderate (and experienced) voices reminding that terminal operations for decades was done largely on "pen and paper".

 

Some individual terminals were severely impacted, not least the fully automated Maasvlakte II terminal in Rotterdam, where vessel operations stopped completely for a full week, but even in the worst cases, vessels were routed to other terminal facilities, as was the case in Rotterdam, where the APMT Rotterdam terminal saw average berth stays more than double for three days.

 

Despite the heavy impact on specific, individual terminals, the impact was quite muted when looked across all 68 APM Terminals facilities, says the CEO of SeaIntel, Mr Alan Murphy: The number of vessels that called APMT facilities did decrease slightly following the incident, but it was still within the confines of normal operational fluctuations. "We saw a 3-hour average increase in the time spent at berth after the incident, but the increase is not far outside the normal operational fluctuations, and was back to normal levels within a few days," Mr Murphy said. The schedule reliability of the vessels that called at affected APMT berths dipped significantly in the three days following the incident, dropping from an average of 74 per cent before the incident to around 55 per cent in the days after the incident, but was back to normal levels again after three days, the release pointed out.

 

Source: Exim News Service - Copenhagen, July 16

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