Press Releases - NAWE Addresses Shipping Crane Cybersecurity Concerns

NAWE Addresses Shipping Crane Cybersecurity Concerns (PDF Version)

Association affirms in-depth security practices waterfront employers implement at U.S. ports

WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2023) – The National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE), whose members include stevedores, marine terminal operators (MTOs), and other waterfront-related employers, strongly endorses vigorous and vigilant attention to cybersecurity.

NAWE acknowledges recent cybersecurity concerns regarding China-manufactured cranes. U.S. national security officials are concerned that China may be using technology within the cranes for espionage to monitor U.S. logistics operations and cause disruptions to the supply chain. Officials do not point to any instances of cranes being used for these purposes and are currently conducting investigations.

“NAWE members are central pillars of the global intermodal marine transportation system, and they have extensive systems and processes in place to disarm potential threats and avoid unwanted intrusions,” said Robert Murray, president of NAWE. “Our members have orchestrated a system of layered physical and cybersecurity in accordance with the Marine Transportation Security Act (MSTA), the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

NAWE has participated in discussions about these issues since the enactment of the MTSA of 2002 and its implementation by the United States Coast Guard. To ensure NAWE members are adhering to security practices, MTOs must have an approved Facility Security Plan and a designated Facility Security Officer. They must also have crane systems that are a part of NAWE’s global cybersecurity program and managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology framework created by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In addition to government partnerships and programs, terminal operators have a high isolation level on crane control and auxiliary function systems, and monitoring access is strategically implemented to detect and capture threats. NAWE members proactively engage with control system and auxiliary systems providers regarding their latest offerings and demand the highest level of security. With these measures in place, NAWE prioritizes the security of its members and understands the role they play in the safety and reliability of the supply chain and national security.


About NAWE

The National Association of Waterfront Employers is a Washington based trade association whose member companies are privately owned stevedores, marine terminal operators, and other waterfront related employers. Member companies do business at major U.S Ports on the Atlantic and Pacific coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Canada, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These firms are committed to keeping America’s international trade and commerce flowing to better serve our economy. Learn more on our website:

NAWE Media Contact
Megan Nielson
Communiqué PR
[email protected]
206-282-4923 ext. 233

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