Based in Miami, Cao Chocolates is family-owned and operated by power couple Ricardo Trillos and Anelith Ortega, immigrants from Venezuela. They started their business in 2009 with the hopes of introducing higher-quality chocolate to homes across America. Their chocolate is made from two simple ingredients – cacao and cane sugar. Their cacao beans are sourced from fair-trade farms around the world, from countries such as the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil, Madagascar, and more. They work directly with farmers to obtain high-quality cacao beans that the Cao team then turns into their own unique chocolate bars. In addition to making chocolate bars, they also make truffles, bonbons, baked goods, and other confections.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Cao Chocolates shifted their focus to online sales. Since they focused their efforts on curated boxes mostly for corporate clients, they were getting orders in bulk, generally around 400 orders minimum. Anelith, co-founder of Cao who manages the company’s logistics, had to go directly to UPS and FedEx with her boxes and shipping list.
The Cao team quickly realized that going directly to carriers to print labels was losing them a lot of money and time on just shipping operations alone. They then came across Pirate Ship, which gave them better rates than purchasing directly from the carrier, but turned out to be painfully hard to use.
As a family-owned business trying to pivot towards e-commerce only, Cao Chocolates couldn’t afford to lose time, money, and other resources on shipping logistics. They needed a shipping partner that would sync directly with their Shopify orders, be easy to use, and give them access to the best possible rates.
In 2021, Cao Chocolates turned to Shippo to simplify their shipping process and free up time to focus on other aspects of their business, rather than having to worry about shipping their packages.
Prior to using Shippo, an order of 400 different packages would be a long and arduous process due to the sheer number of shipping labels alone. “We received an order for 340 items on Thursday afternoon and were able to ship everything on Monday! From the production, to packaging, and shipping. Our client was thrilled we could ship everything. A big part of that was 340 labels would be a time-consuming pain in the neck if you don’t have the right platform. Imagine all the mistakes! In minutes, we had 340 labels done!”, shared Ricardo Trillos, Co-Founder of Cao Chocolates.
With Shippo, Cao is able to complete this step within minutes: “Shippo has the best rates, and it is easy to connect to Shopify – you just upload a list and that’s it. And we can track the packages in the same place, so I don’t need to go to UPS.com. I can do everything within Shippo!”, said Anelith.
With Shippo’s seamless Shopify integration and easy ability to upload CSV files, Cao Chocolates leverages the Shippo Web App for all their shipping needs. “It is very easy to upload the information and make it work. It was a win-win for us as far as getting that information from the client on an excel spreadsheet, loading it up, and seeing those prices go down”, said Ricardo. Through Shippo, Cao is able to save time and money when they print labels to support their large corporate orders. “We wish we found you guys in 2020! We easily could’ve saved $8,000-$10,000 in just shipping”, stated Ricardo.
After starting with Shippo, Cao has saved over 33% in shipping costs alone. They have also saved a significant amount of time in their overall shipping process. “We used to dedicate at least 25% of our time in the shipping process – packaging, labeling, dropping packages off, and notifying customers. With Shippo, that percentage was reduced to 12% with the use of your template, freight rate, instant availability of the system, and the ease of using the platform itself. The fact that Shippo can notify our customers when shipping has been processed has helped us save a lot of time”, said Anelith.
Shippo has helped Cao Chocolates scale as they continue to flourish with their new online business model.
“The ability to reach so many people successfully is something we never expected. Looking back, we were able to change our business model, make it more successful and grow in these last 2 years. 2020 and 2021 were our best 2 years in business. It’s not only the actions we’ve taken but also the people we have partnered with. We’re extremely happy with Shippo! It’s easy, it’s affordable, and for us, it’s one less headache. Logistics is a big part of our business right now, and you guys have been a great and important part of our success”, stated Ricardo.
As the Cao duo look to the future, Shippo plays a pivotal role in facilitating their growth and ability to adapt as they continue to expand their business.
“All I can say is I look forward to continuing to work with Shippo. Using your platform makes it easy to get into deeper waters and work on larger projects because you guys are really reliable. Our reputation is on the line, and we need to make sure we meet our customers’ expectations, and you guys are a key part of that success”, said Ricardo.
A Shipping Solution for Businesses of All Sizes
Shippo is a single, easy-to-integrate program that powers everything leading e-commerce brands need for shipping. From a single integration, businesses gain access to over 85+ global shipping carriers. And since all carrier interactions are standardized, Shippo makes it easy for businesses to compare rates and ETAs, print labels, schedule pickups (with USPS and DHL Express), track shipments, facilitate returns, and more across several carriers, all in one place.
Connecting your online store is also fast and easy with Shippo’s pre-built integrations. Shippo can automatically connect with several popular e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, and getting set up can be done in a manner of minutes without the need for any technical developer resources.
You also have options for using Shippo: online through our web application or connected via API. The great thing about these options is that Shippo has the ability to grow with you as your business needs evolve.
For businesses that want to get started right away, the web app is a great solution. And getting started is as easy as opening an account, entering some basic information, and creating your first shipping label. For businesses looking for an even more customizable solution, Shippo’s API is the next step. With Shippo’s developer-centric API, businesses can take their automation efforts even further. Visit Shippo’s API information page to learn more.