An apparent cyberattack took down Estes Express Lines’ technology systems, the company disclosed Tuesday.
The privately owned, Richmond-based LTL carrier said it notified customers Monday of an “ongoing IT infrastructure outage” that it confirmed Tuesday was caused by a cyberattack.
“While we are unable to share specific details at this time, our terminals and drivers are effectively picking up and delivering while we work through this event,” the company said in a message on social media.
The company did not address follow-up questions from Trucking Dive. But it thanked its customers and vendors for their patience and support and promised to share additional updates.
“We’re working as quickly as possible to resolve this issue and return to business as usual,” Estes said.
A cyberattack on a trucking fleet limits a company’s visibility into its operations and can shut down its point of sale — preventing new shipment bookings and halting incoming revenue, said Satish Jindel, LTL expert and president of SJ Consulting Group.
“That is a serious problem,” Jindel said.
It’s particularly pressing for LTL carriers, which often rely on their systems to add pickups and dropoffs along their drivers’ routes in real time.
“Now I have to rely on manual processes,” Jindel said. “It’s labor-intensive, prone to errors.”
While a cyberattack on a trucking firm differs from one on a bank or a hospital’s systems, it could still jeopardize employee and customer data, or delay or compromise critical shipments, Jindel said.
“The inconvenience and cost imposed on the company they’ve hacked is still serious,” he said. “It’s a national problem.”
The attack complicates an already busy October for Estes, which offered $1.525 billion to be the stalking-horse bidder for Yellow Corp.’s terminals. A court-supervised auction for the real estate is scheduled for Oct. 18.
The Federal Trade Commission provides guidance on how businesses can handle data breaches.