- The cyberattack on Estes Express Lines prompted shippers to divert freight to competitors ABF Freight and XPO in early October, according to ArcBest Corp. and XPO officials.
- The bump from the cyberattack for Estes’ LTL competitors was short-lived, however. Freight has returned to Estes, said ArcBest VP of Yield Strategy and Management Chris Adkins and XPO Chief Strategy Officer Ali Faghri. Estes increasingly restored its systems capabilities throughout the month.
- “We did see an influx of some of that business the first couple of weeks of October,” Adkins said on a Q3 earnings call Friday. “Since then, that has largely gone back to the carrier that was handling that previously." XPO’s Faghri described a “small benefit” to Trucking Dive Monday: “We wouldn't expect it to continue through the rest of the quarter.”
Estes has completely recovered from the cyberattack, President and COO Webb Estes announced to customers in his latest video update on the situation last week.
The Richmond-based carrier managed to keep freight moving for customers over the course of the month as it worked around the clock to respond to an attack that took down systems, terminal phones and company email accounts, the COO said.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the hard work of our employees and the support of our customers, which allowed us to continue to keep America moving forward,” Webb Estes said in an emailed statement to Trucking Dive Monday. “Our systems are completely back online, and we are glad our focus is now solely on taking great care of our customers’ freight needs.”
We’re excited to announce that we’ve completely restored our systems capabilities and are back to business as usual! Please watch this video from Webb Estes to learn more. pic.twitter.com/nZeIB74MCg— estesexpress (@estesexpress) October 24, 2023
Estes hired GuidePoint Security, allowing the LTL provider to safely bring systems back online, Webb Estes said in an Oct. 19 customer update. That enabled the restoration of its website, “My Estes” program and shipping applications.
The company’s API connections are again available to integrate shipping functionality into customers business applications and websites.
Neither Adkins nor Faghri provided details on the specific size or duration of the freight diversions caused by the cyberattack.
In Q3, ABF Freight’s volumes otherwise maintained the 20% increase in shipments the carrier picked up as Yellow spiraled into bankruptcy in June, Adkins said.
The surge of freight allowed the ArcBest-owned carrier to haul lighter loads: LTL-rated weight per shipment decreased 6.4% year-over-year — even as shipments per day increased 1.5% YoY in Q3, according to an ArcBest Q3 earnings report.
The disruption at Estes helped XPO’s October shipment volumes outperform seasonality compared to September, Faghri noted. Shipments per day increased 7.8% YoY in Q3, according to an earnings report.
“If we tried to back out the benefit that we got from the cyberattack at another LTL carrier, October would have still been in line with seasonality for us, relative to September,” Faghri said.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Estes President and COO Webb Estes.