UPDATE 03.08.2021 : Transnet SOC Ltd ( “Transnet”) has with effect from Monday the 2nd of August 2021 uplifted the Force Majeure which was declared by the Port Terminals operating division at the container terminals in the Ports of Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth.
In a press release, Transnet advised that it “believes it is now in a position to service its customers and meet all contractual obligations reliably.
The upliftment of the force majeure follows the phased restoration of the NAVIS N4 terminal operating system across the container terminals.”
The declaration of the Force Majeure retrospectively came into effect from the 22nd of July 2021 after Transnet experienced a cyber attack, necessitating that operations be conducted manually.
“In terms of operations, Port Terminals will continue to apply the berthing principles of the container operations contract in the container terminals. This is currently the most practical way of normalising operations and maintaining a complimentary port schedule for shipping lines.” the press release added.
“Transnet wishes to thank its customers and stakeholders for their collaboration and support following the events of the past week.” said Transnet SOC Ltd’s spokesperson Ayanda Shezi.
UPDATE : TPT has confirmed that Navis functionality at all container terminals has been restored for the yard and waterside and external customers are now able to login and pre-advise containers. It has been reported that other customer-facing functions like EDI and other operational elements likes Camco, radio network etc are still being finalised by the ICT team.
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), the State Owned Enterprise responsible for the operation of port terminals in South Africa has officially declared Force Majeure at the container terminals of Durban, Ngqura (Coega), Cape town and Port Elizabeth.
This declaration comes on the back of speculation that Transnet was the victim of a cyber attack, something that was not confirmed by TPT till the 26th of July 2021.
In a notice to customers, the Chief Executive of Transnet Port Terminals has confirmed that on the 22nd of July 2021, TPT experienced an act of cyber attack, security intrusion and sabotage, which resulted in the disruption of TPT’s normal processes and functions and/or the destruction or damage of equipment or information.
TPT has classified this breach as a Force Majeure event and has advised that while the issue continues to persist, investigators are determining the cause and extent of the ICT data security breach/sabotage.
Reuters is reporting that Transnet has mentioned in the notice that it was putting mitigation measures in place, including the manual loading and discharge of containers, to ensure continued operations at the container terminals although at a slower pace.
The IT disruption which happened on 22nd of July, affected the waterside operations and also gate in/out moves. Operations at all above terminals came to a halt and since then TPT has been following a manual process to move containers in and out of the port and on and off the ships in an effort to assist the customers with priority to reefer containers.
However, trucking delays, especially at the Port of Durban have increased with a few vessels already skipping the port of Durban
As of 26th July, it has been reported however, that there has been a limited restoration of TPT’s NAVIS system in Durban which is a positive development. It has also been reported that some limited landside activities have resumed while manual operations are underway on the waterside.
To assist the customers, TPT have also put in some specific import release processes for Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
TPT has also reportedly communicated to its customers how they will treat berthing, imports and exports operations at the various container terminals as the disruption persists.