Cyberattack Hits Estes Express Lines’ IT Systems

LTL Carrier Says Terminals, Drivers Still Picking Up, Delivering Freight
Estes Express Lines in banning, calif.
Estes opened a new facility in Banning, Calif., in May. (Ed Tyler Photography)

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Estes Express Lines on Oct. 3 confirmed that its IT systems were the target of an ongoing cyberattack, but said its trucks were still moving freight.

“We’re working as quickly as possible to resolve this issue and to return to business as usual,” the carrier wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, noting that it was “unable to share specific details at this time.” The Richmond, Va.-based company said terminals and drivers were still picking up and delivering freight while the IT infrastructure was out of action.

An Estes spokesman could not provide any more details Oct. 3 when contacted by Transport Topics.

The attack on the less-than-truckload specialist first came to light in an Oct. 2 message on X, in which the company said: “We are currently experiencing an outage in our core IT infrastructure and it is impacting a number of our systems.” It added, “Please reach out to your account manager, preferably by text, with any questions or concerns, including pickups.”

Estes ranks No. 14 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It ranks No. 5 on the LTL sector list.

Estes had 9,694 company-owned tractors and 37,032 trailers as of the end of 2022, according to TT data. The carrier currently has in excess of 280 freight terminals.

“We will continue to share [updates] with you as we work through this incident,” it wrote on X. “We are immensely grateful for the dedication and responsiveness of our more than 22,000 employees and the way they’ve banded together to keep serving our customers and each other.”

“We also extend our appreciation to customers and vendors for their patience and support during a challenging time,” it added.

Estes is currently the stalking horse bidder for the 169 terminals previously operated by bankrupt LTL carrier Yellow Corp.


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Other carriers that came under attack over the last few years include Forward Air Corp. in December 2020 and Bay & Bay in December 2022 and in 2018. Greeneville, Tenn.-based Forward Air ranks No. 27 on the TT Top 100 for-hire list and No. 1 among air/expedited carriers.

Trucking companies are targeted by cybercriminals, according to security consultants Alliance Tech, because the sector generates large revenue.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal government agency, offers four tips to employers seeking to avoid a cyber, malware or ransomware attack:

  • Teach employees to avoid phishing;
  • Require strong passwords;
  • Require multifactor authentication;
  • Update business software.

Original equipment manufacturers and software providers have also been victims of cyberattacks that made it into the public domain.

In September, technology provider Orbcomm was hit with a ransomware attack that led to outages for some customers using its fleet management services.

In March, German trailer and truck component manufacturer SAF-Holland had to shut manufacturing sites due to a cyberattack. The attack led to a temporary interruption at several of the company’s manufacturing sites, it said. The company estimated sales losses from production downtime of around $43.94 million.

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