In order to better understand the process of breast cancer metastasis, we have generated a mammary epithelial progression series of increasingly aggressive cell lines that metastasize to lung. Here we demonstrate that upregulation of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi trafficking gene signature in metastatic cells enhances transport kinetics, which promotes malignant progression. We observe increased ER-Golgi trafficking, an altered secretome and sensitivity to the retrograde transport inhibitor brefeldin A (BFA) in cells that metastasize to lung. CREB3 was identified as a transcriptional regulator of upregulated ER-Golgi trafficking genes ARF4, COPB1, and USO1, and silencing of these genes attenuated the metastatic phenotype in vitro and lung colonization in vivo. Furthermore, high trafficking gene expression significantly correlated with increased risk of distant metastasis and reduced relapse-free and overall survival in breast cancer patients, suggesting that modulation of ER-Golgi trafficking plays an important role in metastatic progression.