Designing a Safe Reefer Connection: Part 2

Designing a Safe Reefer Connection

Increasing safety

While little has changed in the construction of the receptacles themselves over the years, ESL is constantly challenged to find new solutions that meet unique customer safety and operational requirements. Usually terminal operators have limited or no control over the maintenance and standards associated with male plugs on reefer container cables, the quality of which varies considerably. A male plug with water and salt ingress can “flash” outwards into the operator when the interlock actuator is engaged. In order to energize a receptacle from a safe distance, ESL designed a rear-actuated receptacle that removes this safety risk by requiring the operator to engage the actuator rod from behind the assembly enclosure, out of the way in case of a flashover. Since the development of our rear-actuated receptacle, ESL has installed systems at terminals in Philadelphia, Nairobi and Vancouver. In Philadelphia, ESL added LED lights on the rear of the enclosures so operators can see they have energized the correct receptacle.

Damage control

Properly treated and maintained, a safety-interlocked reefer receptacle is designed to last many years. The reality, however, is that equipment is often damaged through misuse. In our experience, the number one cause of receptacle damage is “drive-offs”, where the reefer is moved without first being disconnected. This will destroy a nylon or plastic ROA, but not a stainless steel one. Stainless steel ROA’s can be repaired by just replacing the receptacle or swapping out a safety-interlocked outlet from another ROA. In North America, the incidence of drive-offs is such that stainless steel ROAs should be considered as an industry standard. ESL also offers microswitches in the receptacle that signals whether a container is connected, regardless of whether the reefer is energized or not. This information could be sent to the terminal operating system (TOS) and an instruction to move a reefer could be blocked if it is still connected.

If you missed part  of our series  focusing on operating reefers at terminals efficiently click here.

ESL’s Donation Match Campaign!


ESL strongly believes in giving back to our community and supporting those in need. Additionally, we recognize encouraging employees to contribute to charities they feel are important helps build a better work environment and positive company moral; especially when your company provides support in the form of financial matching! With these values in mind, ESL decided to launch its first ever Donation Match Campaign encouraging its team to give back to the causes they believe in.Goal_Chart_Donation_Match

… especially when your company provides support in the form of financial matching!

ESL started the new venture by gathering suggestions on charities from our employees. The suggestions were then carefully evaluated and 15 nonprofits were selected for this year’s matching.  All employees were encouraged to give anywhere from $25 to $1000 with the ESL promise to match each donation dollar-for-dollar.  This year’s Charities included:

  • ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Americares
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • American Red Cross
  • Augies Quest to Cure ALS Inc.
  • Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
  • Direct Relief
  • Dr. Susan love Foundation
  • Feeding America
  • Hope for the Warriors
  • JDRF
  • Khan Academy
  • Make a wish America
  • Our Companions Animal Rescue
  • Ronald Mc Donald House

The campaign ran for two months and raised $8,180.00 in all! To engage the team and keep the giving going, weekly emails were sent out highlighting charities available for giving. To help keep the company informed on progress, employee contributions were tracked on a donation chart visible in the company lunch room. The participation was outstanding for our first attempt and feedback on the program was excellent.

We would love to hear how your company contributes! Send us a comment with the great things your work place does for its community.

Check out our other blogs on volunteering to see how our company and its awesome employees continue to contribute to worthy causes.

Introducing the New Q: ESL’s Latest Innovation

Safety, Value, Quality, and Innovation have played a key role in making ESL a worldwide industry leader in the design and manufacturing of safety-interlocked power outlets for refrigerated ISO containers. With this continuing mission in mind, ESL’s new Q module provides unparalleled safety and incorporates additional advances such as high visibility indicating light and extensive cycle testing for increased product reliability.

Watch ESL’s Q Module demo video to learn how we continuously stay ahead of product safety innovations.

ESL Power Systems Unveils New Quality of Service Video

ESL Power Systems Unveils New Quality of Service Video

In line with ESL’s philosophy to constantly improve and grow, our company has committed to working towards a Lean culture. Our company culture focuses on a combination of defining customer value, aligning around a common purpose, and striving for perfection. Watch our video below and learn how ESL constantly aims to provide quality service and continuously identify value in the eyes of our customers. Enjoy!


Importance of Emergency Power

Frequency of weather-related power outages across United States

Impact of weather-related power outages

The reliability of power over the past 15 years has been strained by increased demand by growing populations, aging infrastructure and more frequent occurrences of extreme weather. As seen in bar graph [a] on the right, the number of weather-related power outages has doubled every five years since 2000. Although the timing of when these outages happen fluctuates from day to day, season to season, and year to year, the data shows that weather-related power outages are steadily on the rise.

The estimated costs of weather-related power outages, by year, are provided in graph [b]. The variations in cost change considerably year to year. These cost estimates are dominated by the impact of large storms and the numerous costs associated with power outages. These costs include lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, inconvenience and the cost of restarting industrial operations. Although weather is a major factor in the cost of power, the costs associated with power outages are influenced by the amount of time that the power is out as well. The pie chart [c] shows the average length of reported power outages in the digital economy, continuous process manufacturing and fabrication/essential services sectors of the economy. Regardless of what industry your business is in, the longer the power is out the more money you are losing.

As the climate changes and infrastructure ages, the economic and social impacts of power outages may be unavoidable. However, the effects can be mitigated by being diligent and taking appropriate steps to minimize operational downtime. ESL’s emergency power connection equipment is very cost-effective, especially when compared to the cost of being without power for extended periods of time. In addition, our emergency power products provide users with safe and simple operation so that grid-tied facilities can quickly connect to portable power when it matters most.

For more information on how ESL can help you be prepared for the next major power outage, contact us.

1-Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters
2-Power Outages On The Rise Across The U.S.
3-Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Related Outages
4-The Cost of Power Disturbances to Industrial & Digital Economy Companies