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Global logistics giant Expeditors suffers cyberattack, shuts down operations systems

Company says it has ‘limited ability’ to book shipments

Expeditors International operates in over 100 countries globally. (Photo: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock)

Logistics and freight-forwarding giant Expeditors International has shut down most of its operations systems after being targeted in a cyberattack, the company said. 

The effects on the Seattle-based company’s operations have been widespread.  

“While our systems are shut down we will have limited ability to conduct operations, including but not limited to arranging for shipments of freight or managing customs and distribution activities for our customers’ shipments,” Expeditors said in a statement Sunday.

The company said it was investigating the attack as it worked to restore its systems. It did not give an estimate when normal operations might resume.

“The situation is evolving, and we are working with global cybersecurity experts to manage the situation,” the company said.

Expeditors (NASDAQ:EXPD) has more than 18,000 employees across 100 countries, providing logistics, freight-forwarding and customs services for airfreight and ocean shipping. The company brought in $16.5 billion in revenue in 2021.

The company warned that the cyberattack “could have a material adverse impact on our business, revenues, results of operations and reputation.”

Expeditors addressed the attack on Tuesday when it reported its fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, but provided no additional information.

The incident represents one of the significant cyberattacks on a U.S. logistics provider in recent memory. Expeditors did not say whether the incident was the result of ransomware.

The company did not respond to American Shipper’s questions about the attack.

Intel 471, a cybercrime intelligence firm, warned in a November report that cybercriminals had been trying to sell network access of multiple transportation, logistics and shipping companies. Cybercriminals could use network access to stage ransomware attacks that could disrupt the global supply chain. 

In December, Germany-based Hellman Worldwide was hit in a ransomware attack. The company subsequently warned its partners and customers that they could be targeted by scammers.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Expeditors said that had been targeted in a ransomware attack. In fact, the company said that it had been targeted in a cyberattack.)

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]