About 1,000 trucks will gather at Kwai Chung container terminal today to continue a blockade in protest at handling charges. Traffic is expected to be gridlocked in a repeat of Friday's chaos. Truckers received a welcome boost last night when they raked in donations of more than $140,000 from fellow transport operators and drivers to finance their campaign to abolish the $40 container-handling fee. The row between the drivers and the mid-stream operators - the firms that load and unload containers by barge to and from ships - has continued on and off for months. The drivers are angry at the Mid-stream Operators Association's surcharge of $40 a cargo. They have staged two huge blockades in the past three months since the fee was announced. Operators only started to collect it last week. They said they had asked their supporters to turn up with their trucks after 9am today to avoid causing inconvenience to rush-hour commuters. Yesterday more than 100 drivers marched to the Central Government Offices to call on officials to intervene. The Joint Committee of the China-Hong Kong Transport Trade had eased their three-day blockade at the terminal. 'Our action has calmed down a bit today but that doesn't mean we will stop,' said protest organiser Chiang Chi-wai. 'We will send about 1,000 trucks to the terminal in the morning. We are not inviting the Government to intervene in a business decision. This is also a social issue, with the livelihoods of thousands of families threatened.' He said the Government must take a stand against the 'unreasonable charge', adding the protest had mass support among drivers. 'There are more than 16,000 lorry drivers. If we mobilise five per cent of them a day, we can do a lot of things. But we don't want to because it is not in Hong Kong's interests.' The traffic situation improved near the container terminal yesterday. Most of the 700 lorries that joined the blockade on Saturday have since pulled out, leaving only a few dozen behind. On Saturday, hundreds of drivers parked their vehicles outside the terminal, paralysing traffic. A transport analyst estimated the SAR stood to lose up to $200 million a day. When the fee was first introduced, and set at $50 last November, the same group blocked the terminals for two days. The fee was later put on hold after government intervention. The barge operators say the fee should be prepaid by drivers on behalf of shippers, but the drivers argue it should be charged directly to shippers. Democratic Party legislator Albert Ho Chun-yan urged drivers not to take drastic action and to give more time to the Legislative Council and the Government to help mediate in the dispute.