Digital Logistics Pioneer, Kobo360, Emulates “Ant Model” to Fix Lagos Port Traffic Congestion

Digital Logistics Pioneer, Kobo360, Emulates “Ant Model” to Fix Lagos Port Traffic Congestion

Fixing Nigeria’s challenges will not involve bringing people from the moon [they do not exist]. All we need to do is do simple things: by having a simple order, Kobo360, a pioneering logistics company I wrote many months ago, plans to reduce 40% of the traffic wahala in Apapa. Kobo360 is not inventing anything – it is simply using what exists to fix market frictions. That is what innovation is about.

In a quest to put to an end the lingering port congestion in Lagos State, Obi Ozor, Chief Executive Officer of Kobo360.COM says technology can solve 40 per cent of the problem. He discussed this with CNBC Africa’s Kenneth

Watch the video for the plan. I think we can do this in many other sectors and force people to approach things orderly.


The Science Behind

What Obi and Team Kobo360 are doing is actually rooted in biology. If you go back to ants, it has been proven that only 30% of the ants do more than 70% of the work in a colony. Simply, instead of 100% of the ants working, causing traffic jams, having only 30% ensures the ants are more efficient in whatever they want to accomplish.

Ants are renowned for their industriousness. Ask the grasshopper in the story by Aesop. He had to come begging the hard-working ant for food when winter came because he had frittered away his summer.

But that is fable, the ultimate in what scientists call anecdotal evidence. And new research at Georgia Tech suggests that although ant colonies are very efficient, that may be because 70 percent of them are doing very little — at least when it comes to tunnel digging.

Daniel I. Goldman, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his colleagues, found that the secret to efficient tunnel digging by fire ants was that 30 percent of the ants did 70 percent of the work. They reported their fable-shaking finding in the journal Science.

The reason, it seems, is that the ants were working in narrow tunnels where traffic jams could easily clog up the entire effort to build nests. So it helped if some of them took a pileup in the tunnel as a signal to suggest that they take a break.

So, why have 100% of the trucks wasting 4 hours to get into the port when if you permit only 60% at a time, they could all do their things within one hour of arrival. The team would need to collect more data, and as they do that, they could actually reduce traffic congestion by up to 70% over time.

All Together

This is certainly something that evolving AI model with constantly improving data will make better over time. It looks very exciting for the digital logistics pioneer. You do not go wrong when your model is based on biology – no wonder the wise man wrote “go back to the ants and learn”.


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