Cosco ship containersCosco Shipping Lines has restored network services to its America regions following a ransomware attack that took out local email and telephone connections last week, delaying services and temporarily affecting its global business.

On July 25 the company was forced to isolate internal networks and shutdown connections within its American business while carrying out technical inspections to the global network. The disruption affected bill of lading and invoicing systems, amongst others, in the US, Canada, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Uruguay.

Cosco said it implemented contingency plans, including the transfer of certain operations and the use of remote access to carry out others, to ensure continuous service in the affected countries.

On Monday of this week (July 30) the company said network applications in the Americas had been recovered, though some email and websites are currently still not working, including in the US and UK. Telephone and electronic data exchange systems are reported to be working again.

“We are working at full stretch to process all the service requests received previously, and the service response is expected to be back on track within this week,” said Cosco in a statement. “Global networks of Cosco Shipping Lines are safe and stable, and our global business operations are steady and orderly.”

The cyber-attack follows one on shipping line AP Moller-Maersk in June last year in which the ransomware knocked out operations and was estimated to have cost the company between $200m and $300m. TNT Express and a number of other companies were also hit. That followed a similar attack in May 2017 that affected carmakers and logistics providers, including Renault-Nissan and Deutsche Bahn. However, as reported in Lloyd’s List this week, Cosco’s decentralised regional network structure appears to have helped prevent a more global impact.