I do have two questions about NPCs. Do they "know" when I'm running along side of them as an escort? And why on earth would all those ships at the station be doing nothing?
NPCs know that you are there, but they don't really care. They will just continue on their AI routine and do whatever it is they are doing with or without you. You can influence their behaviour if you play it right though. If you are attacked, for example, they will just carry on travelling to the station, but if you move close enough to them, then they may get hit by a laser that was aimed at you. At that point there is a good chance that some defense AI will kick in and they will start fighting the enemy on your side (but they are really just trying to save themselves). This is especially effective in the case of convoys, if you stand very close to the mother.
As for the ships gathering at the station, it is probably a relatively rare bug. I have noticed that sometimes, when something is standing in the path that an NPC would need to take to reach the next docking waypoint, it stops them from moving. When that happens, the entire queue is effectively stopped. Usually it is me standing in the way, so just moving away from the docking port a bit may clear the path and resume traffic. Or it could be that the queue was standing by for the arrival of a convoy with priority, not sure. The nature of the bug makes it quite difficult to reproduce, even with the debug console. That plus its rarity makes it a tricky one to tackle, but if it happens again, please try to move away from the docking port, see if anything changes by accelerating time (assumng you are running Test Release) or try to gently bump one or two of the nearest to the docking port ships so that they move and see if this makes the queue move.