[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 5 November 2006, 08:50 GMT
Cranes unload giant ship's cargo
Emma Maersk
Port officials said it would take 36 hours to unload the cargo

Six giant cranes are unloading 3,000 containers of Christmas goods from a ship said to be the world's largest container vessel.

Emma Maersk - a quarter of a mile long (397m), 200ft (61.5m) high and as wide as a motorway - docked at Felixstowe, Suffolk, on Saturday evening.

It is delivering 45,000 tonnes of goods from China.

Port officials said it would take 36 hours to unload the cargo of computers, books, toys and Christmas decorations.

The Emma Maersk is on the latest leg of its two-month maiden voyage.

Chinese imports

After leaving Gothenburg, Sweden, it called at Yantian, in China, Hong Kong and Tanjung Pelepas, in Malaysia, before reaching the UK.

Experts say the vessel's voyage indicates how the focus of global manufacturing has shifted from Europe and the United States to China in recent decades.

The UK exported about 2.8bn of goods to China in 2005 but imported nearly 16bn - a 30-fold increase on 1980.

The Port of Felixstowe said it had seen a 16% increase in Chinese imports in the past year.

But the Emma Maersk's voyage has been criticised by Green Party MEP for South East England, Dr Caroline Lucas, who said giant ships damaged the environment and international trade needed to be managed.

The ship's Danish owner, Maersk, said the vessel was "one of the most environmentally friendly" container vessels built.


SEE ALSO
Giant Christmas goods ship docks
05 Nov 06 |  Suffolk

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific