S.A. TALKE – Excellence in Chemical Logistics

S.A. TALKE provides first-class logistic services for the chemical and petrochemical industries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with safety as a top priority.

S.A. TALKE was established in 2003 as a joint venture between the German ALFRED TALKE Group, Al-Jabr Group (Eastern Province), Saudi Arabia’s SISCO Group (Jeddah) to provide an end-to-end logistics solution for the chemical and petrochemical sectors.

The company leverages ALFRED TALKE’s European expertise in design, construction, and operation of logistic sites and capitalises on the local footprint and knowledge of both Al-Jabr and SISCO provides supply chain solutions, including on-site and off-site operations, packaging, storage, and transport, complemented by a wide range of added-value services focused on the logistics of chemical products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, the company’s volume throughput in Saudi Arabia was more than 18 million tonnes of chemical products. S.A. TALKE currently operates 16 projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, of which two were won in 2020, and the TALKE Group also has a strong presence in Oman, UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Makhlouf Benzahia, Managing Director, S.A. TALKE, describes what is behind the company’s strong position: “Our teams are able to put together efficient supply chain solutions, optimise processes and maximise value for our clients based on an in-depth understanding of the specific needs and requirements of the petrochemical industry, the result of many years of successful partnerships with our clients.”

He further points out that the company has also been involved in several turnkey projects on behalf of its clients. “Our involvement from the start means that our clients can benefit from our expertise in putting together the most efficient solution and from dealing with a single contact from the very beginning of the project.”

Clients appreciate S.A. TALKE’s wide range of storage solutions suited to a large diversity of products, including silos for bulk storage, ambient and temperature-controlled storage solutions for hazardous and non-hazardous goods, bonded warehouses, and chemical storage facilities.

“All of S.A. TALKE’s facilities are designed to achieve optimal utilisation, efficient material flows, and are all equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems,” affirms Mr Benzahia. “We can maintain some of the most sophisticated packaging lines in the world, and our skilled employees are able to deal with a variety of specialised maintenance requirements including PLC programming and robotic palletizers. There is also a great focus on planning, a key factor in achieving an efficient supply chain. The control tower concept is applied efficiently and effectively to achieve best customer service at a competitive cost,” he explains.

Safe and reliable

Recently, S.A. TALKE celebrated a new milestone — the achievement of 12 million safe man-hours without a lost-time injury (LTI). This has been the result of a continuous effort to create an organisational culture where safety is a core value and always comes first. All employees are continuously encouraged to drive the safety performance forward and are rewarded for generating creative ideas.

The Act Safety Program (ASP), Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS), and Leadership Safety (LS) are a few of the programmes which are implemented in S.A. TALKE, seeking to continuously improve awareness through a series of focused and interactive quarterly safety campaigns. “The achievement of 10 million safe man-hours without an LTI in mid-2020 was remarkable considering that our team had to deal with various challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic while serving our clients without interruption,” says Mr Benzahia.

“Our safety record is something we can all be proud of, something that sets us apart,” adds Andreas Goebels, Corporate HSSEQ Manager at S.A. TALKE. “We have created a work environment where our people are empowered to take actions, new ideas are recognised and success is achieved and celebrated together. With open communication, we have built a relationship with our people based on trust and mutual respect and we have developed a ‘can do’ attitude, enabling us to continue improving as a team.”

The company’s strong safety culture is well recognised. S.A. TALKE is assessed according to Gulf SQAS for transport and warehouses in Saudi Arabia and is also a member of Responsible Care, the chemical industry’s unique global initiative that drives unceasing improvement in environment, health, safety, and security (EHS&S) performance, together with open and transparent communication.

Shaping the future

It is not only internal improvements that the company continuously strives to achieve. S.A. TALKE is also involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities by partnering with the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and local communities, and participating in various waste-free environment campaigns, demonstrating a commitment to the environment and care for the community.

S.A. TALKE has been a valuable member of the GPCA since its formation and has been actively participating in all its supply chain conferences and annual forums under the flagship of ALFRED TALKE Logistic Services. Based on this positive experience, the GPCA collaboration provides an ideal platform for S.A. TALKE for knowledge exchange between producers, traders, and service providers at an international level.

Mr Benzahia notes that during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, S.A. TALKE has taken organisational safety culture to new heights. By taking the lead in designing and implementing prevention measures to stop the virus from spreading, S.A. TALKE has supported its clients, business partners, and employees in every situation.

Speaking about the future, Mr Benzahia affirms that S.A. TALKE is set to continuously enhance safety standards and promote social responsibility initiatives as well as development programmes for employees while focusing on expansion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Over the next couple of years, we will be investing heavily in increasing our warehouse capacity, diversifying our services portfolio so that we can offer additional services to existing and future clients. We will also be focusing on attracting local talent to continue building a strong local team. Our mid-level management and fast track programmes have both proved to be successful in developing local talent, and we wish to see more locals joining the logistics industry and building a career in this key area,” he reflects in concluding.

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