Stretching a quarter of a mile and weighing a mighty 210,890 tonnes, the world's largest container ship laden with cars, car parts, clothing, shoes and electrical goods from Asia hauled itself into a British port for the first time as stunned onlookers gasped and took photos of the mega-vessel with their phones.
The 21,413 TEU OOCL Hong Kong, which can carry up to 21,000 20ft containers, arrived after a 17-year absence from British waters at the Hutchinson Port of Felixstowe, Suffolk.
It returned to the UK as part of the Ocean Alliance - the largest operational agreement between shipping companies - where it will serve the Asia-Europe trade lane from the seaside town.
Weighing 210,890 tonnes, the super-ship built in South-Korea by Samsung Heavy Industries, measures 400 metres in length and has a width of 58.8 metres.
Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: 'The OOCL Hong Kong is the latest in a line of mega vessels to call at the Port of Felixstowe.'
He added: 'The port's location close to the main shipping lanes and the ports of Northern Europe, combined with a unique combination of road and rail connections, makes it the first choice for the latest generation of giant container ships.'
'Our relationship with OOCL goes back 40 years and we are delighted to welcome them back to the Port of Felixstowe as part of the Ocean Alliance. '
Mr Cheng continued: 'We are honoured to have been chosen as the main UK hub for the Ocean Alliance and look forward to continuing to work with OOCL and the other alliance partners to provide the best possible service to UK importers and exporters.'
The Ocean Alliance consists of OOCL, CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping and Evergreen Line. It offers 17 services on the Asian-Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Red Sea and Middle Eastern trades, and 23 services on the North American trades.
Richard Hew, Managing Director of OOCL, said: 'We are very delighted by the warm welcome that the OOCL Hong Kong received from the Port of Felixstowe community. We truly look forward to working more closely with our customers, business partners and with the port community in developing our synergies for growth.'