The system outage at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT), the oldest marine facility in India’s Port of Nhava Sheva (JNPT), following a ransomware attack on 20 February, stretched into the third day, forcing many port users to turn back to the old and tedious manual method of processes.

Sources in JNPT said all efforts are under way to reinstate the digital applications with the help of the service provider. However, none of the sources were able to say when the system would be back, up and running.

The port authority, in its first communication since the incident, also noted that government agencies are working to fix the problem.

“While there is a system disruption, there has been no effect on the cargo operations at JNPCT,” a JNPT spokesperson said. “To ensure business continuity, a standard operating procedure has been chalked out for an interim period for handling exim [export-import] containers at JNPCT through alternate arrangements from February 23, 2022.”

Additionally, the port said that the system disruption has had no operational impact on the other four terminals in the harbour. Of these private terminals, two are operated by DP World and one each by APM Terminals and PSA Internationals.

JNPCT handles fewer scheduled or incidental vessel calls and as such, the disruptive impacts on vessel or cargo flows were expected to be of manageable proportions, according to industry sources.

“Though minimal, some ripple effects on port service levels are inevitable,” a freight forwarder told Container News.

On the downside, the port has already been seeing a slowdown in truck movements, raising trade concerns over potential cargo shutouts from scheduled vessels because of late gate-ins after securing bookings in a tightening capacity situation.

To that end, in a February 18 advisory, Maersk warned customers of slowing cargo flow at JNPT. “There is massive congestion at Nhava Sheva Port. Please plan your shipments in advance to avoid any delays/rollovers,” noted the Danish company.

Jenny Daniel
India Correspondent

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