Transnet cyberattack a massive setback that's causing logjams, losses - SAAFF

Various port terminals were hit by cyber sabotage earlier this month. It halted operations at container terminals in Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth.

The Port of Cape Town. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - The South African Association of Freight Forwarders said that a cyberattack that targeted Transnet had been a massive setback.

"The deciduous fruit has been in full swing in the Cape as well. What happens now is that it has been picked, some of it has been packed and put into containers and it has to go somewhere - every cold store, every place that can keep fruit cool is probably full. The stuff is just not moving and these are big volumes at this time of the year and it just can't move."

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The association's Mike Walwyn is also the chairperson of the Cape Town Port Liaison Forum.

"There are many impacts. The most immediate one is a lot more work because what happens is that we are now chasing our tails trying to find places to put containers where we have no place to put them, trying to extract containers from the port for our customers who need them urgently and we can't get them."

Various port terminals were hit by cyber sabotage earlier this month.

It halted operations at container terminals in Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth.

With perishable food stuck in containers and freight trucks, it was causing logjams and huge losses.

Walwyn added that rice and wheat imports may also be affected.

"Bulk vessels are impacted as well but they can be handled by means of a manual process. Now that's a little easier with a bulk vessel than with a container because a bulk vessel has just one commodity on board, shipped to one consignee. With containers, there's, of course, hundreds of them, thousands in fact on one ship, each for different people, so that's a much more complex exercise."

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