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HMM Algeciras, the world's largest container ship, towers over houses as it passes Canvey Island in Essex.

(PA)

In pictures: World's largest shipping container arrives in UK

The world’s biggest container ship has docked in the UK on its maiden visit.

Crowds gathered to witness the huge HMM Algeciras on Sunday as it concluded its journey from China to Essex – via South Korea, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

The ship is 1,312ft (400m) long and 200ft (61m) wide, making it vastly bigger than the Titanic, which was 882ft long and 92ft wide.

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Algeciras is delivering a variety of goods from south Asia to DP World London Gateway in Thurrock, including household items and supermarket goods.

In order to ensure the vessel could dock safely at DP World London Gateway, its arrival was modelled on a simulator, with preparations beginning more than six months ago.

HMM Algeciras will depart on Monday, carrying UK exports on her return journey to China via Singapore.

Peter Livey, managing director for Britain at shipping company HMM, which owns the vessel, described its maiden voyage as a “major milestone”.

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He said: “Ships of this size give us the capacity and flexibility to get our customers’ goods to the right place at the right time.”

DP World UK chief executive Ernst Schulze said the commitment of his staff has been “critical” to London Gateway remaining open throughout the coronavirus lockdown.