A suspected cyber-attack of the management information system (MIS) has crippled the container terminal run by the state-owned port authority at Jawaharlal Nehru Port from Monday, forcing the Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal (JNPCT) to divert one container ship to other terminals at the port located near Mumbai.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port is India’s busiest state-owned container gateway.

“The information system at JNPCT is not working from Monday due to which we have diverted one vessel,” said an official. “The MIS personnel is on the job, based on their advice we will take a call on diverting more ships,” he said, noting that there is no visibility on how long it will take to restore the system.

Shipping industry sources briefed on the incident said that “JNPCT system has been hit by a major cyber-attack”.

“The system is completely down and JNPCT is not sure when it will be restored. It may take minimum 3-4 days, if not more,” a shipping industry source said.

JNPCT is not accepting vessels alongside due to outage of the system as documents are needed to berth the ship, all of which are now digitalised, the source said.

JNPCT has been put up for privatisation by the port authority as part of the government’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).

JNPCT is one of the five container terminals operating at JN Port, four of which are privately run. The terminal, with a capacity to handle 1.35 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), has been facing volume decline from FY2018 as lack of equipment and the opening of two new terminals at the port with modern cranes, offering better productivity forced shipping lines to switch their calls.

As a result, its capacity utilisation has declined from over 100 per cent in FY17 to below 50 per cent.

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