The secretory membrane system allows a cell to regulate delivery of newly synthesized proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids to the cell surface, a necessity for growth and homeostasis. The system is made up of distinct organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi complex, plasma membrane, and tubulovesicular transport intermediates. These organelles mediate intracellular membrane transport between themselves and the cell surface. Membrane traffic within this system flows along highly organized directional routes. Secretory cargo is synthesized and assembled in the ER and then transported to the Golgi complex for further processing and maturation. Upon arrival at the trans Golgi network (TGN), the cargo is sorted and packaged into post-Golgi carriers that move through the cytoplasm to fuse with the cell surface. This directional membrane flow is balanced by retrieval pathways that bring membrane and selected proteins back to the compartment of origin.