Mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) deliver lysosomal hydrolases from the Golgi to endosomes and then return to the Golgi complex. TIP47 recognizes the cytoplasmic domains of MPRs and is required for endosome-to-Golgi transport. Here we show that TIP47 also bound directly to the Rab9 guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) in its active, GTP-bound conformation. Moreover, Rab9 increased the affinity of TIP47 for its cargo. A functional Rab9 binding site was required for TIP47 stimulation of MPR transport in vivo. Thus, a cytosolic cargo selection device may be selectively recruited onto a specific organelle, and vesicle budding might be coupled to the presence of an active Rab GTPase.