MSC resolves network outage (15 APR 2020)

The company said that all internal systems were fully functional and that all its booking options and the website were available again.

The incident was confined to MSC’s headquarters in Geneva only and affected the availability of some of MSC’s digital tools and for a few days during the Easter holiday long weekend,” MSC said in an update.

The Geneva-headquartered liner giant disclosed earlier that the outage did not impact its cargo or terminal operations.

“While MSC considers this incident to be resolved, we remain focused and cautious in our approach to information technology and committed to minimising the risk of systems outages,” the company added.

The possibility of a potential cyberattack was not ruled out, however, an in depth investigation is yet to confirm what was the cause of the outage.

Container shipping heavyweights Maersk and COSCO Shipping were targeted by cyber attacks in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with Maersk sustaining a significant economic blow from the attack.

The incidents are indicative that the reliance on technology requires significant investment in the security of digital operations and putting in place contingency plans to ensure the impact of a potential attack is curbed.

Digitalization and automation of operations have reaped numerous benefits in the time of the ongoing pandemic, with so many people being able to do their work from home while keeping safe.

Furthermore, a growing number of port operators are recognizing the ever-growing potential of digitalization and the times ahead of us are likely to see more investments in automation.

However, as previous cases have shown retaining practical skills of the workforce is critical in keeping cargo flows going when technology fails to do so.