The most frequent result of inefficiencies in international trade is delay, which can be critical. Heavy investment in logistical systems is wasted if goods sit idle waiting for the right piece of paper or information. Ports may spend money on new physical facilities if the existing ones are congested, when to change practice to cut delays would have more far-reaching effect.
Payments get delayed. Research in the UK indicates that over 50% of documents lodged in respect of documentary credits contained errors which delayed settlement by at least 2 weeks, with the result that exporters lost £70 million per year. Research has indicated a similar situation in other countries.