World's largest container ship docks in London

The 400m long Munkebo Maersk arrives at London Gateway

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One of the largest container vessels in the world pulled into the London Gateway port this morning (Thursday).

The 400m long ship is the largest to have ever navigated the Thames and weighs 200,000 tonnes and is the size of four football pitches, the Evening Standard reports.

The Munkebo Maersk left Harwich, Essex early this morning and pulled into London just after 7am.

The Danish ship, which has the capacity to hold more than 18,000 units, will be unloaded by cranes as tall as 40 double-decker buses, before it leaves for the Far East later today.

The London Gateway port opened in Thurrock, Essex in 2012 and is able to handle the largest container ships in the world.

On Twitter this morning the Port General Manager, Cameron Thorpe said: "London Gateway is in an unrivalled location and built to handle biggest ships."

A marginally smaller Maersk ship, docked at London Gateway in October last year, the Edith Maersk is shorter than the Munkebo and is the second largest container ship in the world, the BBC reported.

Simon Moore, port chief executive, said: "By welcoming the Munkebo Maersk we have demonstrated again that we are more than capable of handling the world's biggest container ships, in this case operating on the Asia-Europe routes."

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