The endolysosomal trafficking pathway is responsible for the internalisation of membrane receptors and their delivery to sorting endosomes, from which they can be either recycled back to the cell surface or enter late endosomal or lysosomal compartments for degradation. Small and highly motile tubulovesicular transport carriers (TCs) have an important role in these transport processes, but very little is known with regard to their relationship with individual compartments that allow them to exchange their cargo. To address this issue, Sally Ward, Raimund Ober and colleagues (p. 1176) now present a new imaging system that combines multifocal plane microscopy (MUM) and localised activation of photoactivatable GFP-labeled proteins to study the dynamics of TCs. The key advantage of this approach, the authors argue, is the simultaneous imaging of a living cell in two focal planes to allow the tracking of TCs as they move in 3D. The authors' focus is the characterisation of the spatiotemporal dynamics of TCs that are involved in different steps of the recycling pathway of the recycling Fc receptor (FcRn). They find that – along the way – TCs associate with different combinations of Rab GTPases, SNX4 and APPL1, which could serve to mark trafficking components. Interestingly, the authors also observe a new looping pathway, in which TCs move bidirectionally to leave and return to the same endosome. These results might also be of relevance for other receptors and could help to further elucidate their cellular endolysosomal or recycling pathways.