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Probe on U.S. port cranes sparks security concerns at Port of Vancouver

March 18, 2024  By CHC Staff

VANCOUVER – Following last week’s announcement from the U.S. House of Representatives regarding hidden modems found on a number of Chinese-manufactured cranes used across America’s ports, the Port of Vancouver is working with the federal government to investigate cranes from the same manufacturer in use across its operations.

The cranes in question were manufactured by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. (ZPMC), who are responsible for around 80 per cent of the cargo cranes operating across America’s ports.

The House of Representatives’ statement said that a number of hidden modem devices that “do not contribute to the operation of the cranes” were found across the machines. The committee has inquired to ZPMC regarding their findings.

ZPMC issued a statement last week that they are taking these allegations seriously but deny any cybersecurity risk posed by their cranes. They also affirmed their adherence to the laws and regulations of the countries where their cranes are operating.

A number of cranes from ZPMC are in operation across Canada’s ports, including Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C.

In an unrelated press conference on March 14, British Columbia Premier David Eby told the Globe and Mail that the Vancouver Port Authority is working alongside the federal government to address this issue.

Vancouver’s Global Container Terminals, one of two companies responsible for leasing the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s container terminals, shared in a statement with the Globe and Mail that each crane component undergoes a rigorous assessment and testing process before arriving in their terminals.

Additionally, GCT shared that they do not use ZMPC’s proprietary software on their cranes, instead employing technology from Swedish and North American companies.

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