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14.08.2007

Sovereign Maersk breaks Port of London Record

The Sovereign Maersk at Tilbury Container ServicesThe largest-ever container ship to navigate the Thames has arrived in the Port of London.

The 'Sovereign Maersk' (8050 teu) was at Tilbury Container Services for just one day before sailing to Rotterdam, but it smashed all records for the river.

At a whopping 347 metres, it is longer than three Wembley football pitches laid end to end, and 47 metres longer than the Port's previous record holder 'Maersk Kalmar'.

Traditionally the biggest regular visitors to the Thames have been the 272 metre 'Monte Class' Hamburg Sud vessels that run between London and the South American east coast.

Richard Everitt, the Port of London Authority's chief executive, said: "Working together, the PLA, Tilbury Container Services and Maersk have confounded the traditional assumptions of what is possible on the Thames.

"Not long ago the Sovereign Maersk was the world's largest container ship. Its successful visit has demonstrated that London is a progressive alternative port for UK calls."

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority (tel 01474 562366).

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames
  • London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships.
  • The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types


Photos of activity on the Thames available on request from Martin Garside, PLA. Tel: 01474 562366.