The book originated in 1932 when the agency Chadwik Wier edited The MAR Year Book. It was a technical/comercial enterprise with about 100 advertisers. The content basicaly included information on regulations, tariffs, supplies, navigation regulations, private and public institutions, description of ports and general information on Argentina and Uruguay. It had approximately 215 pages, hard cover, and no compiler was credited.
By 1939 the book included also texts and statistics on production, conversion and distance tables, aerial photographs of ports and 17 foldable maps. That edition had 356 pages.
The 1948/49 edition incorporated all Argentine, Uruguayan and Chilean ports, new port plans, tables for stowage factors, conversion and distances. There was also included a section on air cargo, shipment of goods, responsibility of shipping agents and ships under Argentine flag. The compilers were credited – their initials gave name to the book (Montheil Lacroix, Anderson y Raphaël) – and by then the book had 527 pages.
By 1955 the contents of the book remained stable and in 1966 more aerial photographs were included, more conversion tables, an index of laws/decrees and a map of ports in the River Plate Basin. During the last ten years of this period the book had about 490 pages, and during the 34 years of this stage the book was edited yearly.
After six years without being published the book re-appeared in 1972 edited by the Centro de Navegación Transatlántica (now called Centro de Navegación) with the name of CNT Year Book – Ship Owners’ and Agents’ Handbook, and complied by F.V.H. Wylie. This period included more information on local issues: a development plan, a mining plan, comercial fishing, the fuel panorama and ships sailing under Argentine flag.
In 1982 the complier was V.L.M. Fricker and the book incorporated ports in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. It was re-typed three times and at that time the Centro de Navegación did not have a team to outsource the updating of the information on the original versions. The book never reached 500 pages.
After a five year pause the book was edited again in 1989 and 1993 with new compilers (C.E. Fantini and L.R. Stewart) under the name “River Plate Shipping Guide”. The design was improved and it was in the 1993/1994 edition that the book reached its historical maximum of 608 pages. At the beginning of this period the book was edited yearly and towards the end, every four years.
The 1996/1997 edition was compiled by A.G. Bray. The maps were replaced by new versions and the book in this period underwent a significant change in the aesthetical concept. Color was first included in the cover, and in some of the advertisements and maps, improving the visual quality.
In the next three editions, without a credited compiler, the most notable changes were the increase of information in the “Argentina” Chapter and new chapters added, The Atlantic Seaboard and Multimodal Transport. The port information was organized by regions, with infographic tables for each terminal. It was decided to edit the book on odd-numbered years, with 576, 592 and 572 pages respectively.
From 2005 to 2013 (compiler Daniel Ayude), new complementary accesories were added – CD and port maps – aerial photographs of most ports. The book was printed in full color in all its pages with glossy paper. Also the Centro de Navegación website included basic port information. In this period the number of pages was reduced from 556 to 450, mainly to make it more user friendly (both in cost and weight).
The changes as from the 2015 edition (compiler D. Ayude) reflected the commitment of the Centro de Navegación with a quality service. Several new full page aerial photos were included and a dedicated web site was developed enabling access from any device to the information on the industry. As this tool came on-line the previous basic web tool within the Centro de Navegación page was shut down, and after 5 editions so was the complementary CD. This year the book has 460 pages.