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The Apapa port is part of the ports operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority which was
established in 1955 to oversee the activities and operations of all Nigerian sea ports. Over the years the ports have witnessed tremendous increase in volume of trade causing heavy congestion as ships queue up waiting to discharge importers‟ cargoes. The study demonstrates the applicability of queuing theory models in addressing the problem of congestion in Nigerian Ports, by dealing with the application of multi-queue multi-server queuing model with infinite capacity, First come-First Served model in tackling the congestion problem at the Apapa port, Lagos, Nigeria. The performance indicators of the existing single-queue multi-server model at the general goods cargo terminal of the Apapa port were computed while the results for the performance indicators of the multi-queue multi-server queuing model were also computed and examined. The results obtained were found to be effective in improving port efficiency as it shows that average number of ships in the system (queue and at berth), average queue length, average waiting time of ships in the queue and in the system are reduced in the proposed model by up to 73%, 93%, 78% and 93% respectively. Consequently the study recommended that the multi-queue multi-server queuing model should be the model of choice to solve the ship congestion problem at the Nigerian Ports. This is more so as its implementation is at very minimal cost which is attractive to the port owners.
1.1 Background of the Study
Queuing theory deals with the study of waiting for services at service point of any kind
(Sztrik, 2012). It is always desirable by all parties to stay on the queue for as short a time as
possible. However, reduction of the waiting time usually requires extra and most times
huge capital outlays. To decide whether or not to use any port by merchants they always
consider the efficiency of the port operations and for port owners (Federal Government of
Nigeria) to invest, it is important to know if their investment reduces the waiting time.
Queuing models are able to analyze such situations. In this study, attention is paid to
application of multiple queues to a multi-server situation to improve on the efficiency of
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