Transnet, still battling a cyberattack that hit its container port operations last week, is making progress on bringing systems back online and expects to lift the force majeure declared last week.

The IT disruptions have been largely alleviated, the organisation says, although some applications may still run slowly and others will be brought back online in a staggered way to minimise disruptions.

The cyberattack was first reported on Thursday (22 July) and, by the following day, Transnet was confident it had identified the source and was working on a resolution.

At that time, many operations were switched to manual processes, and these will move back to full NAVIS-driven operations soon.

Although operations have been interrupted, critical cargoes such as citrus exports have been prioritised.

Transnet stats that all terminals are berthing vessels as planned, with loading and discharging operations continuing. In addition, controls have been developed with the shipping companies to ensure safe clearance and evacuation.

Transnet Freight Rail has implemented business continuity plans that have allowed it to continue with manual operations and to run trains as planned, with all safety processes followed.

The company declared force majeure last week, but hopes to lift this soon.

Force majeure is a clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

These events could include war, strikes, riots, crime, an epidemic or sudden legal changes.

Under international law, force majeure refers to an irresistible force or unforeseen event beyond the control of a state, making it materially impossible to fulfill an international obligation.