Analysis reveals impact of cyber attack on APM Terminals

The fully automated Maasvlakte II terminal in Rotterdam was the most affected by the cyber attack.

The terminal operating arm of the  AP Moller Maersk group, APM Terminals, was clearly impacted by the cyber attack two weeks ago, especially in the immediate short-term, but it was not far outside the normal operational fluctuations.

This according to analysis published today (Friday) by maritime analyst, SeaIntel, which pointed out that, for the most part, APM Terminals continued vessel handling operations as normal, albeit at a slower pace for a short number of days.

SeaIntel CEO Alan Murphy pointed out that analysis focused only on vessel handling operations, and did not consider any landside terminal operations, e.g. handling of containers once they were offloaded and stacked, gate procedures, intermodal operations, truck turn times, landside congestion etc.

“This is likely where APMT and their customers may have felt the brunt of the impact of this cyber-security breach,” he said, noting that in the days following the news of the cyber-security breach, there had been 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 had been 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,” said Murphy.

He said that despite the heavy impact on specific, individual terminals, the impact was quite muted when looked at across all 68 facilities. “We saw vessels arriving late and spending longer time at berth for a few days, but overall, the impact was not outside what we see through normal operational fluctuations.”

According to the SeaIntel analysis, there was an average three-hour increase in the time spent at berth after the incident, but this was back to normal levels within a few days.


The schedule reliability of the vessels that called an APMT berth dipped significantly in the three days following the incident, dropping from an average of 74.0% before the incident, to around 55% in the days after the incident, but was back to normal levels again after three days.




The  Maersk group has yet to announce the full impact of the attack on its full spectrum of operations.

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