In the UK, the port of Felixstowe has undergone a vast expansion.
The container port has formally opened two new shipping berths capable of taking ships holding 18,000 containers – 3,000 twenty foot equivalent units more than the largest ships at the moment.
The ships, which are due to arrive in 2013, need deeper water to dock and larger cranes to be unloaded.
It is thought the move should create around 680 jobs directly at the port and 820 at suppliers.
The new berths are part of a £1bn (€1.15bn) investment programme by the port's owner, Hutchison Ports UK.
David Gledhill, CEO of Hutchison Ports UK, told the BBC: "Failure to provide facilities for the new container ships would mean the world's most efficient ships could not dock in the UK, driving up the cost of imports and making UK exports less competitive."