Estes Express Lines’ main communications lines, including the company’s phones, were affected by the cyberattack on the LTL carrier last week, President and COO Webb Estes said in a video message to employees and customers Friday.
But Estes still managed to move customers’ freight and process payroll for its 22,000 employees, he said. It has restored operations to many core systems — including electronic data interchange communications — and is working around the clock to bring the rest online with more security.
“Estes is still very much open for business, and we are picking up and delivering freight,” the fourth-generation company president said in the video.
"Although our main communications channels and many of our systems have been impacted, we've done what we do best, which is thinking outside the box, being resilient and collaborative, and rolling up our sleeves to do everything possible to deliver our customers' freight and take care of our employees," Estes said.
Customers can contact us for pickup requests and questions about their freight through the form available here: https://t.co/3KULGeWH9X— estesexpress (@estesexpress) October 4, 2023
With its website and phones down, the company launched an online portal where customers sent as many as 14,000 inquiries in a single day, the president and COO said. Terminal phone lines have been restored, but the company president credited the Estes workforce for stepping up in a challenging time for the company.
“Each one of the Estes teammates who handled these inquiries had to learn all new processes and workarounds to make it happen,” he noted.
It’s unclear to what extent the cyberattack affected Estes’ email systems, but an Oct. 3 Trucking Dive email to a company vice president could not be delivered due to an apparent server error.
The company’s IT team has restored the carrier’s ability to cut freight bills, update progressive rotating orders, create manifests and effectively manage equipment, Estes said. The carrier’s EDI partner is sending Excel files of pickup orders to enable it to continue moving freight.
“We will get through this,” the president and COO said, “and we will be an even stronger company.”