Complex carbohydrates are essential for many biological processes, from protein quality control to cell recognition, energy storage, and cell wall formation. Many of these processes are performed in topologically extracellular compartments or on the cell surface; hence, diverse secretion systems evolved to transport the hydrophilic molecules to their sites of action. Polyprenyl lipids serve as ubiquitous anchors and facilitators of these transport processes. Here, we summarize and compare bacterial biosynthesis pathways relying on the recognition and transport of lipid-linked complex carbohydrates. In particular, we compare transporters implicated in O antigen and capsular polysaccharide biosyntheses with those facilitating teichoic acid and N-linked glycan transport. Further, we discuss recent insights into the generation, recognition, and recycling of polyprenyl lipids.