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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Union chief: Empty shelves can be observed following cyberattack at docks

The president of the island Teamsters Union said a cyberattack on Puerto Nuevo Terminals earlier this month continues to adversely affect docks, businesses and truckers.

By The Star Staff

The delay in cargo delivery to businesses has persisted after the recent cyberattack against a company that operates the cargo docks in San Juan. In many retail outlets, shelves are devoid of various types of merchandise, including food products.

The information was provided in a radio interview by Teamsters Union President Germán Vázquez, who said Monday that the delay in cargo delivery to trucks at the San Juan dock continues after the cyberattack, while strongly criticizing the monopoly on cargo port management.

Vázquez, expressing his hope for a thorough FBI investigation into the cyberattack, was unequivocal in his assessment. He declared that the current state of cargo transportation is a “blockage,” a term that he said underscores the severity of the situation and the harm it is causing to commerce and the Puerto Rican people.

The union president said the cyberattack has adversely affected docks, businesses and truckers.

As previously reported by the STAR, the consortium Puerto Nuevo Terminals (Luis Ayala Colón-Tote Maritime), the main cargo company in the port of San Juan, suffered a cyberattack earlier this month, resulting in a historic blockage in the delivery of goods.

“We have been consistent from day one, Luis Ayala Colón-Tote Maritime’s monopoly on cargo operations at the port of San Juan terminals in Puerto Nuevo, is a bad deal for Puerto Rico and this week it was proven again,” noted Rep. José Aponte Hernández in a story that ran in the April 26-28 STAR. “On Saturday [April 20], the company’s systems suffered a cyberattack that rendered them inoperable. Since then, all work related to unloading barges and placing cargo containers on trucks has been done by hand, delaying the process for all other companies and resulting in an almost historic stoppage of cargo vehicles on Kennedy Avenue.”

The cyberattack, the veteran lawmaker said, once again exposed how vulnerable the cargo infrastructure is at the Puerto Nuevo terminal with a single company dominating the entire market, as is the case with Puerto Nuevo Terminals.

In April 2020, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice raised serious reservations about the merger agreement between the aforementioned companies to provide services in the port of San Juan. According to the Justice Department, the deal is “made to provide a competitive advantage” to the new entity.

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