Be Proactive: Help Prevent Container Drive-offs

Many key factors play a role in getting cargo in & out of ports and on the road to their final destination. In the process of getting reefer containers from one destination to the next, it is important that precautionary measures are taken to mitigate the occurrence and impact of accidents and safety hazards.

Drive-offs in a port terminal happen when an operator moves refrigerated cargo containers while they are still connected to an electrical source such as a rack mount reefer outlet assembly (Fig. 1 & 2). When a drive-off occurs, the plug or receptacle are in danger of breaking away. This breakaway can result in damage to equipment and infrastructure. In addition, and more importantly, it could also create hazardous conditions.

Aside from being dangerous, damage to refrigerated cargo containers can also be costly. In addition to repair or replacement cost, disruption to operations due to the unavailability of the reefer container slot corresponding to the damaged reefer outlet should be considered. Drive-offs are especially disruptive in automated container terminals. For safety reasons the automated operation must be stopped in the all or part of the stacking row while repairs are performed. Units must be repaired quickly in order to allow operation to continue and reduce financial loss.

Port Drive-off

In order to minimize drive-offs, ESL recommends plug sensing devices which can be added to Reefer Outlet assemblies. This solution contains a dry contact micro switch powered by a secondary source which can be used to help trigger a warning system (visual or integrated to TOS). This proactive option helps limit damage caused by human error which in turn, reduces operational costs and the need for replacement receptacles.

When it comes to breakaways, ESL offers receptacles made from polyamide, a non-metallic material designed to break easier under stress, preventing further damage to other components of the Reefer Outlet Assembly. This allows for easy replacement of broken receptacles and less operational time lost.

With increased education about the dangers of port drive-offs, and implementing precautions such as Safety-interlocked cord connected devices, injury and cost can be minimized. Learn more about ESL and how we can help keep your port safe by visiting our Intermodal page or contact us!

Determining the Right Fit: Single-gang vs. Multi-gang Reefer Outlet (socket) Installations


When it comes to designing reefer racks, the question of whether to install individual reefer outlets (sockets) or group several outlets in a single enclosure (multi-gangs) is often overlooked.  Past experiences or canned designs seem to be the driving factors behind selecting one of these alternatives. This is a decision that impacts both installation costs & operations, and requires some consideration. Read more

Power Pool Plus and ESL Reefer Outlets Provide Expanded Power Generation Versatility


Power Pool Plus has been providing power generation solutions for the refrigerated transportation industry for over 20 years. Over that time we have taken great pride in building products that provide years of service in some of the harshest and most demanding environments. Our products can be found providing critical generator power to refrigerated containers around the globe, such as the fast paced, rough and tumble world of shipping ports, the hot and humid growing fields of South and Central America, and on the decks of ships and barges traversing the seas in any type of weather.

Read more

Tips to Perform Maintenance Checks on Reefer Outlets


One thing many of us have in common is the tendency to procrastinate – like avoiding trips to the dentist. As we all know, not routinely taking care of those chompers will more than likely result in added cost and agony later down the road, but we still might choose to skip the appointment. Neglecting to routinely maintain electrical equipment, such as reefer outlets, can also result is the same negative consequences – added cost and severe pain.

Read more