Hürth | 19.01.2022


In 2022, we at TALKE will celebrate our 75th birthday. Time to take a look back over the coming months at the successes, challenges and new opportunities that have accompanied us over the years. In the first part of our series, we look back at the founding history of our company.

Every journey begins with the first step - or in our case, with the first truck. After the end of the Second World War, the Allies take the decision to help Germany get back on its feet economically. In the Rhineland, this step benefits the chemical industry, which has traditional roots here. This is also recognized 75 years ago by the then 32-year-old Silesian carpenter Alfred Talke Sr. He founds the transport company named after him in Hürth.

The main cargo is initially lignite, which is needed in large quantities as an energy source for production in the chemical industry. Alfred Talke Sr. transports it around the clock, seven days a week. He is actively supported by his wife Marga. TALKE is thus also a family business from day one.

Progress and growth with the chemical industry

However, the growth of the fledgling company is soon threatened by the numerous challenges of the post-war years. Transport vehicles are in short supply and are needed everywhere. With great negotiating skills, Alfred Talke Sr. obtains a commitment to purchase a T2 10146 truck trailer on July 21, 1950. The seller is the acting military government, and payment is made by transfer to the government's main treasury. A year later, a Büssing truck joins TALKE's fleet from the same source.

But TALKE is not the only company to celebrate important successes during this period. For the first time, synthetic fibers are produced from polyacrylonitrile. The fiber is used to make carpets, curtains, garden umbrella covers, sportswear, leisurewear and workwear, among other things. A new type of flexible foam made from polyurethane can be used for sponges, mattresses, filter material and a variety of other purposes. By chance, chemist Fritz Stastny also discovers a process for foaming polystyrene at BASF in 1949 - the material of the century, Styropor, is created.

TALKE becomes an industrial partner for chemical logistics

With the technological breakthroughs in the chemical industry, the demands on transporters increase. Large quantities of liquid chemicals are used for the mass production of various materials. Alfred Talke rises to the challenge. He develops the first own truck for their safe transport - and thus creates a new standard. The fleet subsequently grows to five trucks and five trailers. Until the early 1960s, TALKE continues to develop and manufacture most of its own vehicles. As early as 1953, TALKE as a whole also grows beyond the boundaries of its headquarters in Hürth: a first branch office is established in Düsseldorf.

The optimal support of its customers in the chemical and petrochemical industries, however, is just as strongly linked to the inventive spirit of Alfred Talke Sr. On July 26, 1956, he received the patent number 1 057 970 for a "vehicle with a container placed on the flat loading surface for transporting dust substances or the like. Behind the somewhat unwieldy wording lies nothing less than what is probably the first flexitank: designed for the transport of solids, the vehicle can be converted for the transport of liquid chemicals with the aid of a rubber bladder.

Next month, we will focus on the period from 1957 to 1966.

TALKE_1947 Braunkohletransport
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Datum: 19.01.2022

Note to editors:

TALKE is one of the world’s leading logistics service providers for the chemical and petrochemical industry. The core competencies of the company founded in 1947 include the transport, storage and handling of hazardous and harmless materials in all aggregate states. In addition, the logistics specialist offers consulting, design and implementation of appropriate structures, processes and systems. With a total of more than 4,600 employees, TALKE is active within Europe, the Middle East, India, China and the United States.

Press contact

Björn Zimmer Senior Specialist Corporate Communications & Marketing

E-Mail: presse@talke.com T.: +49(2233) 599-445 | M.: +49(152) 53037247