The world's largest container ship has arrived in the UK for the first time today, with crowds gathering to welcome the beast to the DP World London Gateway.

At 400 metres, the HMM Algeciras is longer than the Shard is tall and 61 metres wide, making the vessel larger than the Titanic.

Her arrival on the Thames concluded a journey from China to Essex on Sunday, June 14, via South Korea, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

The 1,312ft (400m) long and 200ft (61m) wide ship is delivering a variety of goods at DP World London Gateway in Thurrock, and crowds gathered to see it arrive in the UK for the first time.

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HMM Algeciras is dubbed a Megamax-24 (MGX-24) on account of the 24 container bays, 24 deck rows and the 24-container stack height of 12 boxes in the holds and up to 12 on deck

Preparations began more than six months ago, with the Port of London Authority modelling its arrival on a simulator to ensure it could be carried out safely.

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".

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.