Corporate History

Wildenhofer is a family business now being managed in the fifth generation.

In 1887 Leopold Wildenhofer purchased the haulage company founded at the central railway station by Ritter Wilhelm von Poschinger in 1877 in the knowledge that transport networks develop immensely due to the expansion of the railway network. The forwarding agency soon became the largest such business in the whole of the province of Salzburg.

In 1916 the adoptive son of the company’s founder, Eduard Mayer, took over the business and continued to expand. During a very difficult period following the First World War, Eduard Mayer died unexpectedly in 1921. Nevertheless, his wife, Anny Mayer-Wildenhofer, was able to continue the story of success. Being open to all things modern, the company purchased Salzburg’s first HGV in 1924.

The world economic crisis at the end of the 1920s caused immense damage. In 1929, the two sons, Eduard and Otto Mayer-Wildenhofer, began trading in fuels to establish another source of income for the company. Skilful marketing soon led to benefits from a growing market. In 1933, Anny Mayer-Wildenhofer passed on the company to her sons, Eduard and Otto Mayer-Wildenhofer and the business became a limited company.

The creation of general cargo services from Hamburg, Triest and the Balkan states contributed to a further expansion of services. Even back then there was an express parcel service to the capital cities. The ‘Anschluss’ with the German Empire meant the loss of the entire income from customs. In response the company set up general cargo services to all the main cities in Germany.

Although the company was almost completely ruined by the war, the brothers, Eduard and Otto Mayer-Wildenhofer, used all their entrepreneurial skills to rebuild the business within a very short period. The setting up of a branch office in Hallein, then Salzburg’s industrial base, and the building of a modern storage facility in Salzburg, were visible, positive signs of corporate growth.



In 1968 the next generation of sons, Eduard Mayer-Wildenhofer jun. and Friedrich Mayer-Wildenhofer, joined the shareholding and in 1972 they took over the management of the business. In the same year a storage building was erected in Hallein, with high shelf space for over 8000 pallets as well as two freezing rooms. One year later the entire internal organisation was transferred to dialogue system computers. Wildenhofer pioneered this work creating complete programmes and systems.

In 1964 the rapidly growing fuel business was complemented with a department for tank inspection and tank protection, and in 1981 a department for water technology. This year also saw the company spread to Vienna following the purchase of a hauliers operation in the capital city. 1983 the company was publicly honoured by the government for its services to the state of Austria. In 1985 10,000 m² of land and a 4000 m² warehouse were purchased for Wildenhofer Wien GmbH.
At the beginning of the 1990s an agreement was finalised with German Parcel Paketdienst Deutschland to set up a parcel service (General Parcel Austria) for the whole of Austria. Another sign of the times was the restructuring of the company which saw the individual parts of the company being founded as separate operating companies. The original building Erstes Salzburger Lagerhaus Leop. Wildenhofers Nachf.  is now an administrative holding.

At the end of 1999 Friedrich Mayer-Wildenhofer (Kr.), stood down as CEO and handed over his shares to make way for his nephew, Andreas Mayer-Wildenhofer. Once again, the company was under family ownership and control, and had a clear business concept as it prepared to enter the new millennium.