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Generally speaking, a place where goods are stored prior to their being sold or used. The word is more restricted in shipping terminology, where it means a public warehouse where goods are stored on being landed from a ship. These warehouses are often responsible for sorting, examining and delivering goods as well as storing them. The goods may be for home consumption or re-export. Some warehouses are bonded warehouses, where duty, need not be paid on the goods until they are actually removed from the warehouse.
Goods are released on production of a warehouse keeper’s order issued by the Customs. ¬†

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.