The M/V NJ arrives at the dock of the Cape May terminal

Fuel Surcharge FAQ's

What To Know: Important Information Regarding the Cape May-Lewes Ferry's Fuel Surcharge

To combat the rising cost of fuel, fuel surcharges sometimes go into effect.  Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Why does the Ferry charge a fuel surcharge?

The fuel surcharge is implemented in response to  whenever there are increasing and volatile oil prices outside of the Ferry's budgeted allocations for fuel. With fuel being a primary and major expense for any transportation provider, when fuel prices escalate, it is not possible for the CMLF to absorb the entirety of increases in fuel costs. The surcharge will be directly tied to the price of fuel. CMLF will continue to absorb a portion of the increase in fuel costs, thus sharing the impact of these increased costs with our passengers.

How is the fuel surcharge calculated?

The fuel surcharge will vary and will be calculated monthly based on the actual price of fuel compared to a pre-established benchmark. We use futures quotes from an index -- Gobex NY Harbor ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) which is readily searchable online -- plus our quoted delivery price from our fuel vendor to create a budget for our vessel fuel. We implement a surcharge when actual prices, measured on the 15th of the month, exceed the budgeted price by $0.25 per gallon with a corresponding $1 surcharge starting the following month. Should the price of fuel exceed this benchmark, for every $0.25 above this amount, we will assess a $1.00 per vehicle surcharge. If the price remains below this amount, or, after implementing a surcharge, the price drops below this amount, no surcharge will be assessed.

When will the determination be made whether to assess the fuel surcharge?

When the price of fuel exceeds the pre-established benchmark (as described above), the Cape May–Lewes Ferry will, at the 15th of each month, determine whether to assess the fuel surcharge at the first of the following month. Notice will be posted at each ticket/toll booth, on the CMLF website, and in the local press.

Why is the fuel surcharge separate from the CMLF's regular base fares?

Rather than make the surcharge a part of the fare – thus making  a permanent fare change – the CMLF has elected to implement the surcharge only when the price of fuel dictates that we must pass some of this cost on. The fuel surcharge thus will not become a permanent part of fares, but will turn on and off as the price we pay for fuel increases and decreases.

Is the fuel surcharge each way?

Yes, the fuel surcharge is a flat fee that will be applied to vehicle fares for each leg of a voyage.

How will Multi-Ticket Books (6- and 12-packs) be charged?

All 6- and 12- pack vehicles (including commercial 6 pack vehicles) will have the fuel surcharge assessed at the time of booking/passage for each leg of the voyage.

Where does the money from the fuel surcharge go?

The Cape May – Lewes Ferry does not profit from the fuel surcharge. It is a pass-through that helps defray a portion of the additional costs associated with increased fuel costs.

Is the fuel surcharge permanent?

No. The fuel surcharge will vary depending on the changes in fuel prices in comparison to a benchmark price.