Freight payment vendor hit by system outage

Freight payment vendor hit by system outage

Payment vendors provide carrier portals that can be points of system vulnerability due the range of parties given access to those platforms. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

Widely used freight payment services provider Data2Logistics has been hit by a system outage this week that has hampered its clients’ ability to pay their transportation providers.

The Fort Myers, Florida-based company, which helps shippers audit and manage their payments to transportation providers, sent an advisory to customers Wednesday alerting them of the outage, according to a customer who shared a copy of the alert with JOC.com. The advisory indicates Data2Logistics was working to fix the outage last weekend, but it’s not known exactly when the problem began.

“They are our entire freight payment system,” the customer, a shipper of automotive and heavy machinery parts, said. “All carriers send invoices through Data2. They rate and audit the invoice for accuracy. We pay Data2 and they pay the carriers. So being down literally shuts off the flow of cash to our carriers.”

The shipper said the outage has forced it to “make arrangements to go around Data 2 and pay carriers directly.”

Data2Logistics is a top-10 vendor in the freight payment provider market. Players in that space help relieve shippers of the administrative burden of paying carriers and brokers, while also allowing shippers to aggregate their payments to one payee on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Most payment vendors also provide ancillary services, such as invoice auditing and data analytics. 

Company hopes for resolution Monday

In an update to customers Thursday, Data2Logistics said it expected to have its systems fully online by the end of the day Monday. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from JOC.com. The shipper customer said Data2Logistics did not specify the cause of the outage in direct discussions.

In the customer advisory sent Wednesday, Data2Logistics said, “upon discovering our systems issues, we instituted an investigation, working with third-party computer specialists to determine the source of the disruption. To ensure invoices are processed properly once systems are back online, we have notified carriers to halt email-based invoice submissions.”

The advisory said carriers were urged to continue to submit invoices via electronic data interchange or FTP “as the invoices will queue up to flow through the system once operational.”

A consultant that focuses on helping shippers manage their freight payment processes said he had heard from carriers that were unable to access the Data2Logistics system as well. The consultant said the payment provider’s ability to send and receive emails was also affected.

The consultant said the nature of some payment portals creates system vulnerabilities because carriers and third-party representatives are given access to the portal to upload invoices. That places a premium on payment vendors having robust cybersecurity protocols, he said.

Contact Eric Johnson at eric.johnson@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.