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Port Houston operations stall after ‘major’ hardware failure

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Two container terminals at Port Houston have halted operations following a “major” failure of storage devices at the port.

Executive Director Roger Guenther said the port experienced a failure of the storage devices supporting all applications at Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals on 27 July prior to the 07:00am local gate opening time.

In a letter to Port Houston customers and stakeholders, Guenther said staff responded immediately and moved applications onto a redundant set of storage devices, which then failed again at 12:00pm.

“The terminals have been unable to process any transactions since then,” Guenther wrote.

“I want to be clear that this is not a cyber-attack on the Port Houston operating system.

“The ships that were already in progress have been able to continue working, but new vessel starts have not been possible. The truck gates at both container facilities are also idle.

“In addition to Port Authority staff, our contractors have also been working around the clock to rectify the issue as soon as possible. All necessary hardware is now in our possession, but configuration and restoration of all components has been a slow process.”

In an update on 28 July, the Port said the container terminals will remain closed at 07:00am on 29 July.

“We will continue to provide updates through our normal communication channels with the industry,” Guenther continued in the statement.

“I can assure you that upon return to operation our plans include daily extended gate hours as well as weekend gates. Also, all available resources will be provided to continue vessel operations.

“We certainly recognise the impact this situation has on our industry partners and we ask for your patience. Also, please know that we have every available resource working to restore our systems and return to work to serve you as quickly as possible.”

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