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Customs broker systems shutdown causes border delays

Carriers and truck drivers complained of delays at Canada-U.S. border crossings beginning June 21, after customs broker Livingston International “shut down select operating systems” because of a suspected cyber attack.

Outages to Livingston’s systems sparked days-long delays in August and December last year.

Beverley Hudd, of Fairway Transport based in Ancaster, Ont., said one of her drivers had been stuck at the Port Huron border crossing since 4 p.m. on June 21.

An official from a Mississauga, Ont.-based carrier said they were facing delays and downtime due to Livingston’s shutdown. “Multiple drivers are affected. It is affecting all border crossing locations as it is not a regional issue but a system-wide outage,” the official said.

Dan Ovsey, director of public relations and marketing communications at Livingston International told, “Livingston International shut down select operating systems on June 21 out of an abundance of caution after a threat of unauthorized intrusion into our systems was detected. We made this decision because the protection of our clients’ systems and data is of paramount importance to us.

Multiple segments restored

“We have restored multiple segments of our systems, and where restoration is still underway we are using backup processes to continue clearing goods through customs to the best of our ability. We acknowledge that this has caused delays and has been disruptive to our clients and carrier partners. We will continue to communicate with relevant parties and provide material updates.”

Meanwhile, the wait continues for drivers as Livingston works to clear the backlog. Arden Norder, an owner-operator said his buddy has been stuck at the Fort Erie border crossing to enter Buffalo, N.Y. since 8:30 a.m. on June 22.

“We don’t get paid for sitting around. I am his phone and internet service because he does not get very good telecom service out there,” Norder said.

“I spoke to Livingston, and they said they had an outage from 3 a.m. yesterday [June 21] and now it’s been fixed. But they have a huge backlog and did not say how long it would take to get all the loads moved.”

Later, Norder said his buddy had given up for the day and returned home to Dunnville, Ont. about 60 km from the border. “He’ll try again tomorrow. Sad thing is he worked all day but because there was no delivery, he didn’t have any income for today,” he said.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed late in the evening that Livingston International experienced a system outage, but it has since been resolved. “Traffic is moving normally with no delays,” the CBSA said in an email.

This story has been updated with comments from the Canada Border Services Agency.

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