Ports and LogisticsTech

South African port operations get back to normal eight days after cyber attack

Transnet, South Africa’s main port operator, has got operations back up after being struck by a cyber attack last week.

“Transnet Port Terminals, in collaboration with the shipping lines is facilitating the evacuation of urgent containers for the automotive, FMCG and agricultural sectors,” Transnet said in a statement.

Transnet was hit by a form of ransomware known as Death Kitty, which forced it to declare force majeure on July 22.

Cyber attacks are more likely to occur in South Africa than any other African country, recent data shows. That is because South Africa is ranked third in the world for the highest number of users experiencing targeted ransomware attacks.

South Africa was already behind the curve when it came to its ports – pre-pandemic, and before this month’s double disasters of cyber attacks and rioting.

Of 351 container ports recently surveyed from around the world by the World Bank, in association with IHS Markit, South Africa fared very poorly. Durban, for instance, was deemed the third worst port in the world in terms of efficiency where boxes take more than three times as long to load or unload compared to many Asian ports.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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