Incidents like the Maersk cyber-attack raise serious concerns for many businesses. Max, a business owner and CEO of fast-growing, medium-sized business, is not only worried about his own systems but also the vulnerability of such attacks on their partners’ systems. He knows any such attacks can have a huge impact as he is shipping globally. Any subsequent delay can mean the loss of thousands of dollars due to canceled orders and loss of sales.

Uncertainties around safety, security and timely deliveries of goods for those engaged in global shipping provoke questions around what needs to be done immediately to minimise the damage caused by cyber-attacks. Sea freight partners are also questioned so a business can ensure they understand the importance of being prepared for these situations.

For Australian sea freight companies, robust contingency plans are the key.

Read how Australian sea freight forwarders manage shipping after major incidents like the Maersk cyber-attack and how they can assist in keeping the flow of your goods uninterrupted.

Transfer the consignment to alternative shipping providers

Major incidents like the Maersk cyber-attack disrupt supply chains by delaying freight. This forces freight forwarders to think of alternative solutions for meeting delivery timelines.

As Maersk is the largest shipping company in the world and operates 76 ports globally, the situation becomes even more difficult to manage. However, Australian sea freight forwarders use their network and divert future container bookings to alternate carriers to ensure future goods pipelines remained uninterrupted.

Loads are also further divided among a number of shipping lines to further de-risk import and export movements.

Using air freight to avoid stock shortages

Air freight services were immediately pressed into action and wherever possible the movement of goods and urgent inventory was shifted to air freight. Though costly, air freight provides faster carriage and more certainty of timely delivery.

This assisted companies to meet urgent orders and kept businesses ticking over until normalcy was or still is being restored. It also showed the importance of equally strong air freight services and sea freight services, enabling freight forwarders to effect this change quickly and effectively obtain cargo space from the airlines.

Update their system and tighten security

“If shipping giant Maersk can get hacked – why not me?” is a question many are asking. The cyber-attack is a wake-up call for all companies and freight forwarders.

Because in this digital age most important data is being managed electronically, alongside the benefits of easy access and swift processes comes to an increased risk of data thefts.

Therefore, after the Maersk incident, freight forwarders have begun updating systems to use the most advanced security systems available to secure their data. Operators that understand the importance of data security are also using state-of-the-art WMS and accounting software to keep your shipping data secure.

Backup important documents on local servers

When it comes to managing hundreds of customers and cargo consignments, depending on a single system is not a smart decision. At all times, business must ensure that data is kept securely at two or more locations so that if one is impacted, the alternate source can be used to keep operations functioning.

Because connected networks have a higher possibility of being targeted by cyber attacks, local storage remains the most secure way of keeping your data safe. Therefore, freight companies should learn a lesson from the Maersk incident and utilise local servers for the backup of their data and documents.


Plan for every possibility

The shipping industry is very vast and faces incidents like the Maersk cyber-attack, global recession, port congestion and even pirate attack from time to time. Australian freight companies understand these risks and try to prepare effective backup strategies. As your shipping partner, they are committed to keeping your business stable and giving you confidence. Strategies may include alternative shipping lines, a quick switch to air freight services and a tighter system security.

However, it is equally important for business owners, CEOs or operations managers to be prudent. Ensure that you are choosing freight forwarding providers that can demonstrate they are prepared for any eventuality and keep your own systems updated.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including BrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).