Gregory “Greg” Gowans, an industrial project logistics expert whose career spanned several decades, and a highly respected member of the project cargo industry, passed away early Sunday morning, June 3, in Harwich Port, Massachusetts.
The Breakbulk Events & Media advisor, speaker, instructor and moderator served as an inspiration to many in his field for his knowledge, attention-to-detail and professionalism. Described as “the expert’s expert” on project logistics, Gowans combined his passion for his work with an altruistic and public-spirited demeanor, going out of his way to support those in the project cargo sector as well as the industry itself.
Gowans grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, a city in the Canadian province of Ontario. After working in various logistics positions at primary steel producer Algoma in the city, the industrial project logistics veteran got his first taste of the project market at power business Babcock & Wilcox’s, or B&W, facility in the province’s city of Cambridge. He was soon travelling internationally in his new role.
During his last half-decade at B&W, Gowans worked in logistics coordination and instruction as the export boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s fueled global growth. Ten years after starting at the power company, he moved to ASEA Brown Boveri, or ABB, where he was responsible for all international transport for the company’s operations in the U.S. Rail company Alstom acquired ABB’s industrial and boiler business in 2000 and Gowans moved with the sale, with his career at Alstom encompassing work on expediting procurement and quality assurance and control.
Gowans’ last three years at Alstom saw him lead global quality, reporting directly to his division’s president. In 2008, he moved to Houston, Texas, becoming director for global logistics at engineering, procurement and construction firm Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. In 2012, he joined engineering business CH2M Hill as director of logistics and expediting, a position in which he remained until 2016.
Gowans held a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and International Business from Queen’s University, located in the city of Kingston in Ontario, and was also accredited by the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation. Aside from his work with Breakbulk Events & Media, he was a member of the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council, at one point serving as chairman of the organization. Outside of his career, Gowans was a supporter of a number of charities. He volunteered at the Star of Hope Mission, an organization that supports homeless adults and children in Houston, and from 2009 to 2012 was involved in beneficiary charity review and vetting for an organization that is now part of the United Way of Greater Houston, a body focused on improving lives and community-strengthening.
Gowans is survived by wife Phyllis and daughter Hannah.
He is to be cremated with services to be held in Connecticut, date to be announced.